whats known and unknown

Smartphone cameras can give away PIN codes, researchers warn

on November 8, 2013


Correction: This article originally said the user’s eyes were what gave away the code, but it is in fact the orientation inferred from captured images that does so.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have come up with an ingenious way of revealing the PIN codes for sensitive applications running on smartphones – listening for the sound of virtual buttons being pressed, and watching the user’s face as he or she types in their code.

Smartphone security has come quite a long way in recent years. Look at Samsung’s enterprise-friendly Knox system, for example. Knox, which is available for phones such as the Galaxy S4, uses an ARM(s armh) technology called TrustZone that effectively involves two operating systems – one for normal apps and one for sensitive apps, such as those for banking. The idea is to keep sensitive apps safe from the nastiness that might come with some…

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