I’m supposed to finally get a new dumb phone soon. This story makes me want to scrap the technology altogether.
Every time you unlock your front door, your key whispers a small, but audible, secret. Hackers finally learned how to listen.
Researchers at the National University of Singapore published a paper earlier this year detailing how, using only a smartphone microphone and a program they designed, a hacker can clone your key. What’s more, if a thief was able to install malware on your smartphone, smartwatch, or smart doorbell to record the audio from afar, they wouldn’t even need to be physically nearby to pull off the attack.
The key (ahem) to the attack, dubbed SpiKey, is the sound made by the lock pins as they move over a typical key’s ridges.
“When a victim inserts a key into the door lock, an attacker walking by records the sound with a smartphone microphone,” describes the paper written by Soundarya Ramesh, Harini Ramprasad, and Jun Han.
Smartphones can (and should) be shielded. Smartwatches are just ridiculous. And, the new doorbells are about as appealing as those cameras and 1984 microphones people are rushing to add to their homes. Again, I am really starting to suspect that electricity, not the AI thing, was the mistake. You might want to … lock that down.