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SMU Researchers Find a New Way to Snoop with Smartphones. Should You Be Worried?


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When smartphones equipped with the app are placed on the same table as a computer, the app can correctly guess nearly half of all keystrokes typed on the computer.

An app developed at Southern Methodist University can identify individual keystrokes on a computer about half the time.

Credit: Guy Rogers III/Southern Methodist University

Researchers at Southern Methodist University (SMU) created an app that could be used to determine what a computer user is typing.

If a few smartphones equipped with the app are placed on the same table as a computer, the app can correctly guess nearly half of all the keystrokes typed on the computer, while about 25% of the words can be "perfectly translated."

The app does not do a particularly good job of identifying passwords because it is trained to pick up conversations, while passwords are often a nonsensical collection of letters and numbers.

However, by using the app to narrow down which characters are typed, "instead of taking years to decode someone's password, it may take days," according to SMU researcher Eric Larson.

From The Dallas Morning News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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