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Researchers Devise Method to Monitor your Keystrokes Using WiFi Signals

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posted on Sep, 3 2016 @ 06:00 PM
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Researchers have devised a system that can recognize a user's keystrokes by exploiting available WiFi signals.

Source

PDF: Download

I’m choosing for this to be an informational thread and won’t add much side commentary. The illusion of safety and privacy on the internet has reached an all time low as researchers develop and thankfully expose the latest advancements in logging your every move.


The research team, which is made up of computer scientists from Michigan State University and Nanjing University in China, explain in their paper that their "WiKey" system works because most WiFi devices (including routers) come with multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) capabilities.

The article states that most routers have the ability to monitor a wireless channel’s behavior, producing CSI values or “channel state information.” Those values end up altering the channel “frequency response”, represented as fluctuations in the signal between each antenna. It turns out that the fluctuations in frequency reveal more information than initially believed.



"Each MIMO channel between each transmit-receive (TX-RX) antenna pair of a transmitter and receiver comprises of multiple sub-carriers. These WiFi devices continuously monitor the state of the wireless channel to effectively perform transmit power allocations and rate adaptations for each individual MIMOstream such that the available capacity of the wireless channel is maximally utilized...."

Once the CSI information was passed through various filters, the researchers were able to identify the start and end point of each keystroke by interpreting the rise and fall of the WiFi signal.




Overall, WiKey registered a 96.4 percent success rate in classifying single keystrokes. That accuracy fell slightly to 93.5 percent when researchers adjusted the experiment so that the subject typed keys in a continuous sentence.

How To Steal Data From An Airgapped Computer Using FM Radio Waves

Malware has been proven to intercept keystrokes in the form of FM radio signals in an isolated environment as well as identifying a user based upon how they type.

Keyboard Biometrics

This new method only compounds the fact that as long as you are intercepting some form of the electromagnetic spectrum, certain data can be extracted, traced and monitored. With that said, specific limitations do apply.


That's not to say the system is without limitations. For the experiment, researchers set a number of controls, such as an environment with very little noise, a close device proximity of two meters between the router and the keyboard, and training requirements that spanned only over the course of one day and which required the subjects to not move their heads or other parts of their body. In the real world, everything is a lot more dynamic.

The team says they plan to address the problem and develop a new method to mitigate the risks when security and anonymity cannot be compromised. For everybody else, you now know that in certain environments, safety does not exist and your keystrokes can be logged.

Have a nice day!


edit on 3-9-2016 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 3 2016 @ 07:37 PM
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These are truly the weapons of the future.

I can only assume that most folks would be safe from such intrusions. You'd need a hell of a pair of antennas to read and interpret these signals, single them out of all other radio traffic in the area, as well as differentiate between one WIFI system and another. Which means a ton of equipment that wouldn't be very practical in clandestine surveillance.



posted on Sep, 3 2016 @ 07:46 PM
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I did a quick search and couldn't find it, but researchers have also used WiFi to get maps of objects and people in the room. I read an article not to long ago about how they could use WiFi signals to identify people. No more ID badges, or scanners, you walk into the room and instant identification.



posted on Sep, 3 2016 @ 07:49 PM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
These are truly the weapons of the future.

I can only assume that most folks would be safe from such intrusions. You'd need a hell of a pair of antennas to read and interpret these signals, single them out of all other radio traffic in the area, as well as differentiate between one WIFI system and another. Which means a ton of equipment that wouldn't be very practical in clandestine surveillance.


You'd just hack into the persons router you want to monitor.

Even though security experts and researchers have continuously made public the bad security practices of router software and manufacturers they keep hard-coding master passwords into the software and the like.



posted on Sep, 3 2016 @ 09:32 PM
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a reply to: eisegesis

Honestly, I came in here expecting to debunk this completely but it's actually a really interesting proof of concept. S&F



posted on Sep, 3 2016 @ 09:53 PM
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NSA uses incidental information like this all the time. Years ago, they got the goods on a guy running really good encryption...but it turned out if you looked really closely at the signal characteristics, you could pick off data from micro changes in amplitude and frequency caused by the circuitry processing the data for output. And the raw data were in there.



posted on Sep, 3 2016 @ 10:57 PM
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This precisely why I stopped signing all my emails with "Heil Hitler"



posted on Sep, 4 2016 @ 08:39 AM
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As people move through a space with a Wi-Fi signal, their bodies affect it, absorbing some waves and reflecting others in various directions. By analyzing the exact ways a Wi-Fi signal is altered when a human moves through it, researchers can “see” what someone writes with their finger in the air, identify a particular person by the way they walk, and even read a person’s lips with startling accuracy—in some cases even if a router isn’t in the same room as the person performing the actions. Several recent experiments have focused on using Wi-Fi signals to identify people, either based on their body shape or the specific way they tend to move. Earlier this month, a group of computer-science researchers at Northwestern Polytechnical University in China posted a paper to an online archive of scientific research, detailing a system that can accurately identify humans as they walk through a door nine times out of 10. The system must first be trained: It has to learn individuals’ body shapes so it can identify them later. After memorizing body shapes, the system, which the researchers named FreeSense, watches for people walking across its line of sight. If it’s told the next passerby will be one of two people, the system can correctly identify which it is 95 percent of the time. If it’s choosing between six people, it identifies the right one 89 percent of the time.



Because all of these ideas piggyback on one of the most ubiquitous wireless signals, they’re ripe for wide distribution once they’re refined, without the need for any new or expensive equipment. Routers could soon keep kids and older adults safe, log daily activities, or make a smart home run more smoothly—but, if invaded by a malicious hacker, they could also be turned into incredibly sophisticated hubs for monitoring and surveillance.


All the Ways Your Wi-Fi Router Can Spy on You



posted on Sep, 4 2016 @ 08:49 AM
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They would find that I only use a few letters: 'M', 'I', 'D', 'G', 'E', 'T', 'P', 'O', 'R' and 'N'.



posted on Sep, 4 2016 @ 09:03 AM
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Augustus......you dog.....he....he
take that back, you don't mean it!!!




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