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Phone snooping using gyroscope as a crude microphone

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posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 02:30 AM

They found that the gyroscopes in mobile phones were sensitive enough to allow them to pick up some sound waves, turning them into crude microphones, said a detailed report by Andy Greenberg this week about their work, in Wired. The team themselves said their work demonstrated "an unexpected threat resulting from the unmitigated access to the gyro: applications and active web content running on the phone can eavesdrop sound signals, including speech, in the vicinity of the phone."

Recognizing Speech from Gyroscope Signals, they said, gyroscopes are present in most of the modern smartphones. They measure angular velocity. Every application and website can access them without the user's consent. "We show that we can use gyroscopes to eavesdrop on speech without using the microphone at all, which can potentially risk private information such as identity, social security and credit card numbers."


This means that any app that has access to gyroscopes within your mobile phone could be recording your voice even when you are not using the mobile to call someone.

posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 04:11 AM
a reply to: glend

A gyroscope consists of a gimballed, rotating disk.

I know of no smartphones that contain a gyroscope. What they use is a semiconductor accelerometer, which is different.

It is, however, possible to record vibrations using a semiconductor accelerometer.

It is far easier to pick up audio via the microphone,which can be turned on without the phone being obviously communicating.

Edit: I have just researched and some companies are calling the MEMS devices used to determine angular momentum, as gyroscopes (even though nothing actually rotates).
edit on 16/8/2014 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 16 2014 @ 04:25 AM
a reply to: chr0naut

Thanks chr0naut for clarifying. Think the emphasis of the find is that apps do not require security to access the microphone to record conversations so its regarded as an unknown security threat.


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