There are many attacks that seek to compromise our privacy, either when using a computer or mobile devices. In this article we echo a threat that is capable of spy on us through the speakers. It uses a peculiar method, as we are going to explain. We will also give tips so that you can protect yourself and avoid not only this specific attack, but any other similar one that can compromise your security and privacy without your knowledge.
EarSpy, a threat that spies on you with your mobile
It is specifically about EarSpy. It is the name given to it by a group of computer security researchers. It is based on a particular method, since it uses the movement sensor of the mobile to spy. Use the reverberations of the mobile speakers. Modern phones have more powerful speakers, with higher sound quality, and that makes them emit stronger vibrations.
The security researchers behind this discovery used different phone models. They also used software designed to capture data through the movement sensor and put on a simulated call with a recording they had previously created. Through a machine learning algorithm, they were able to recognize the content of the call, the identity of the person or the gender.
The test data was quite promising. Without being perfect, depending on the phone they obtained better or worse results. As they indicate, there is a key point for this type of attack to work or not correctly: the speaker volume. The louder the volume, the easier it is to eavesdrop.
They also indicate that the latest version of Android has introduced a restriction on data collection via sensors, so it could also make it more difficult for an attacker to use it for spying. However, this is simply a limitation that reduces the accuracy of speech recognition, but does not eliminate it.
What to do to avoid spying with the mobile
So, what can we do to avoid being spied on through our mobile phones? We are not only talking about the EarSpy method that we have explained, but many other threats that may exist. It is essential to have the device well prepared, but also to avoid making mistakes that can affect us without realizing it.
Something basic is to keep the common sense and not make mistakes. For example, an attacker could infect your mobile if you install an insecure application that you download from an unofficial site. They could hide malware in that program and start spying on you once you have installed it on the system.
It is also a good idea to use security programs. A good antivirus can prevent malicious software from entering or delete files that you have downloaded by mistake and could become a danger. There are many options and it can really be very useful to improve security on your device.
On the other hand, as we have seen in the case of EarSpy, the latest version of Android makes it difficult for them to use this attack technique. It is a good idea to always have the latest versions installed and thus also correct possible vulnerabilities that may exist. That will help you protect yourself and not have security problems.
In short, as you can see, this is a new technique that could be used to spy on us through the mobile phone’s speaker. You should always keep your devices protected. They can use techniques to hack a mobile even remotely.