Security Alert – Hackers can Record Keyboard Sounds to Compromise Passwords

Security Alert - Hackers can Record Keyboard Sounds to Compromise Passwords

In light of the escalating sophistication of cyber threats, the conventional wisdom of employing multifaceted passwords, comprising alphanumeric characters with variations in cases and symbols might no longer be enough to fortify your digital security.

It now emerges that hackers have developed new techniques to discern keystrokes by analzying the auditory cues produced during keyboard interactions.

Don’t Jump out of your Skin just yet

This new hack was actually the work of white hack researchers who conducted experiments aimed at understanding the vulnerability associated with keyboard sounds. Through meticulous data collection from a sample group of 20 computer users, these researchers were able to achieve a concerning accuracy rate of 43% in deciphering typed characters based solely on the sound patterns emitted during typing.

Acoustic-based Cyber Attacks

Another separate and independent studies by researchers at Cornell University underscored the feasibility of acoustic-based cyber attacks. The Cornell researchers were leveraging on AI, to listen to the subject’s keystrokes sounds. Overtime, the AI could determine the keys pressed by a 95% accuracy rate.

All the hackers (researchers) needed was a microphone placed near the computer’s keyboard, and start recording the click-clack sounds of the keyboard’s keystrokes.

The Acoustic Attack can Happen even in Noisy Places

As if not using public Wi-Fi when you are out and about wasn’t restrictive enough. Now, you have to worry about someone listening in to your keystrokes while in public settings, such as cafes or libraries.

One would think, being in a noisy place would make this acoustic-line of attack less efficient, but researchers have determined the keystrokes sounds recording can happen just as efficiently.

How does the Attack Happen?

The mechanisms through which such attacks can be executed are diverse, ranging from malware infiltration through rogue websites, to compromised USB drive, to exploitations by your browser extensions. 

Does using a Quite Keyboard make you less Vulnerable?

Theoretically speaking, if these acoustic-based trojan are recording your keystrokes sound. Then a quite keyboard should be full-proof right? Well, yes. Then again, just how quite can a keyboard become? Majority of people enjoy the click-clack sounds, especially of the mechanical keyboards.

I guess, it is also time for cybersecurity agents such as anti-virus and anti-malware providers input the ability to shut off computer microphone like they have done with the ability to shut-off video until and only when it is needed.


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