keyboard acoustic attacks

Keyboards are the most common inputting devices. Specialized keyboards, such as keypads, are widely used for specialized data input. It is significant that keypads are usually used to protect a security system. In Hong Kong, keypads are widely used in banking industries and housing estates. Side channeling keypad data may be a potential threat to the security systems. According to a research conducted by Berkeley Doug Tygar [2], a researcher of the University of California, clicks and clacks from a computer keyboard can be transposed into a startlingly accurate transcript. Imagine that you are typing your password at an automatic telling machine. The ATM produces similar electronic sounds while you are pressing the keys. You think nobody knows what you are typing since the sounds are not distinguishable to human ears. However, you have made a big mistake. In fact, hackers use the mechanical sounds emanated to guess your password!! With some microphones, a computer and a sound-processing software, the keys pressed can easily be retrieved. The fact that an attacker can use this acoustic emanation from keypads to collect confidential information has been a great concern in security and privacy communities. In this project, we stimulate the keyboard acoustic triangulation attack. Forerunners determine different keys by their frequency components. We introduced a new attack using time difference approach. This approach works even when the mechanical sound is veiled by electronic sound.


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