Entries Tagged "eavesdropping"

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StealthGenie CEO Indicted

StealthGenie is a Pakistani company that sells a smartphone app that allows a remote party to monitor the phone. The CEO was just indicted in the US:

“Selling spyware is not just reprehensible, it’s a crime,” Leslie Caldwell, assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s Criminal Division, said in a statement. “Apps like StealthGenie are expressly designed for use by stalkers and domestic abusers who want to know every detail of a victim’s personal life — all without the victim’s knowledge.”

This is likely to be a big deal. The company should have sold the spyware only to governments. That would have been okay.

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 10:48 AMView Comments

Eavesdropping by Visual Vibrations

Researchers are able to recover sound through soundproof glass by recording the vibrations of a plastic bag.

Researchers at MIT, Microsoft, and Adobe have developed an algorithm that can reconstruct an audio signal by analyzing minute vibrations of objects depicted in video. In one set of experiments, they were able to recover intelligible speech from the vibrations of a potato-chip bag photographed from 15 feet away through soundproof glass.

In other experiments, they extracted useful audio signals from videos of aluminum foil, the surface of a glass of water, and even the leaves of a potted plant.

This isn’t a new idea. I remember military security policies requiring people to close the window blinds to prevent someone from shining a laser on the window and recovering the sound from the vibrations. But both the camera and processing technologies are getting better.

News story.

Posted on August 8, 2014 at 11:50 AMView Comments

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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.