There exists malware for computers that log keystrokes, which is used to determine passwords and credit card numbers. There also exists malware on our smartphones that log calls and text messages, but interestingly a team of researchers at Georgia Tech managed to use the iPhone 4 to log keystrokes from a keyboard simply by placing the device near the user’s keyboard.
This is accomplished through the use of the iPhone 4’s accelerometer and gyroscope, which was why their attempt with the iPhone 4 proved to be more successful compared to the iPhone 3GS, which lacked a gyroscope built-in. According to the researchers, through this experiment, they were able to decipher complete sentences with up to 80% accuracy with a dictionary of about 58,000 words.
It seems that the iPhone 4’s accelerometer and gyroscope is able to pick up pairs of keystrokes, and is able to determine if it is pressed on the left or right side of the keyboard and whether the keys are near or far apart. However not just limited to the iPhone, the researchers believe that smartphones from the past two years are sophisticated enough to be used as a keylogger as well. We knew that gyroscopes and accelerometers in our smartphones made for fun and quirky apps, but as a keylogger? That’s new.