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Researchers use iPhone 4 as keylogging spy device

The accelerometer in an iPhone 4 can be used to sense keyboard vibrations and figure out what someone is typing, a team of researchers has claimed
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Written by Michael Lee on

A team of researchers has discovered a way to log keystrokes from computers simply by placing an iPhone 4 near a user's keyboard and monitoring the keyboard's vibrations.

The team at Georgia Tech used the accelerometer in an iPhone 4 to sense keyboard vibrations and determine what was being typed, without any connectivity to the user's computer or peripherals.

As documented in their paper, (sp)iPhone: Decoding Vibrations From Nearby Keyboards Using Mobile Phone Accelerometers, the researchers could decipher complete sentences with up to 80 percent accuracy, using a dictionary of about 58,000 words.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see iPhone used as a keylogging 'spiPhone' on ZDNet Australia.


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