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Are apps secretly listening to your calls? Security experts discover gyroscopes could allow phone snooping

India TV News Desk 19 Aug 2014, 10:35:31 AM IST
India TV News Desk
New York: Your smartphone's gyroscopes can be used to eavesdrop on your conversations with the right software in place. A group of researchers from Stanford University along with Rafael, Israel's defense research group, have discovered how gyroscope in smartphones could be used for spying activities.

A gyroscope is a sensor that figures out the orientation of your phone. They are used for the in-built camera's image stabilization function, for the digital compass, for gaming and much more.

Researchers from Stanford University and Israel's Rafael have found a technology which will allow trouble makers to snoop in on conversations by exploiting the MEMS gyros on smartphones. It is called Gyrophone and it can detect certain sound waves only to transform the aforementioned sensors into rudimentary microphones.

Because of gyroscope's requirement in a handset, it becomes difficult to control how they are used. Apple's iOS software system and Google's Android don't have rules in place that force applications to ask for permission before accessing the gyroscopes on users' devices.

The researchers used the gyroscopes in the Nexus 4 and Samsung Galaxy S3 phones as well as the Nexus 7 tablet in order to conduct their experiments.