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Smartphone Sensors Can Be Used To Guess The User PIN

Jan 4, 2018 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Modern smartphones have a whole range of sensors, GPS, gyroscope and other things which make numerous functionalities possible, which make these devices helpful everyday companions.However, the sensors can also be used to guess the user’s PIN to unlock the device.


Smartphone sensors usually have no direct relevance to safety, which is why very few users are afraid to activate them and grant them the required access rights. However, security researchers Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore (via Naked Security ) have noted that malicious apps can use this data to guess a PIN.

The researchers’ algorithm was able to guess the PIN with a 99.5% probability on the first try using a list of the 50 most common PIN combinations. The value is lower if you take all 10,000 (four-digit) possibilities, but still high at 83.7 (at 20 attempts). The whole thing works with the help of machine learning and user behavior analysis. Because a smartphone owner keeps his device slightly different when he enters a PIN. The NTU researchers used accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, proximity sensors, barometers and ambient light sensors.

Also Read: Windows Security Feature Has Been Deliberately Reduced

It is not the first time that these so-called “zero-permission” sensors have been used to try to undermine security functionalities.However, these were not all carried out with PINs, it is noted that the movements are much harder to grasp with this type of input. But this is also possible thanks to AI technologies and the corresponding progress in this area.


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