MoLe: Motion leaks through smartwatch sensors

He Wang, Ted Tsung Te Lai, Romit Roy Choudhury

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Imagine a user typing on a laptop keyboard while wearing a smart watch. This paper asks whether motion sensors from the watch can leak information about what the user is typing. While its not surprising that some information will be leaked, the question is how much? We find that when motion signal processing is combined with patterns in English language, the leakage is substantial. Reported results show that when a user types a word W, it is possible to shortlist a median of 24 words, such that W is in this shortlist. When the word is longer than 6 characters, the median shortlist drops to 10. Of course, such leaks happen without requiring any training from the user, and also under the (obvious) condition that the watch is only on the left hand. We believe this is surprising and merits awareness, especially in light of various continuous sensing apps that are emerging in the app market. Moreover, we discover additional "leaks" that can further reduce the shortlist - we leave these exploitations to future work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMobiCom 2015 - Proceedings of the 21st Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages155-166
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450336192
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 7 2015
Event21st Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2015 - Paris, France
Duration: Sep 7 2015Sep 11 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM
Volume2015-September

Other

Other21st Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MobiCom 2015
CountryFrance
CityParis
Period9/7/159/11/15

Keywords

  • Accelerometer
  • Bayesian inference
  • Gesture
  • Gyroscope
  • Malware
  • Motion leaks
  • Security
  • Side-channel attacks
  • Smartwatch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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