Smartwatch sensors can be used to eavesdrop on the keys you’re typing

September 15, 2015

Researchers have shown that a smartwatch’s motion sensors can be used to detect what keys you’re pressing with your left hand (or whatever hand the watch is on) and thus guess at the words you’re typing.

Their findings suggest that it’s possible for cybercrooks to come up with an app that camouflages itself – for example, as a pedometer – and use it to track what someone types.

Once such an app were to be installed on a victim’s device, the crooks could theoretically eavesdrop on users and intercept sensitive information by gathering data from emails, search queries or the like.

The research focused on a Samsung watch, but the researchers say it’s possible that malware authors could write a similar app for any wearable device that uses motion sensors and plant it in app stores – thus potentially making other devices, such as Apple Watch and Fitbit, vulnerable to a similar attack.

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