Webcam Watergate

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Courtesy of StockVault

How would you feel if every time you logged onto your personal accounts from your laptop or phone you were giving away valuable personal information you hold dear?

Scientists at Cambridge University have shown that a person’s facial expressions could give away their security codes via the webcam on their device.

The Inquirer.net noted that with so many people using smart devices that have built in webcams – ipads,  ipad minis, iPhones, Androids, Kindles – their personal storage unit security concerns for passwords and bank accounts are at an all time high.

Using an app called “PIN Skimmer”, the research team was able to listen to the sound of taps in relative proximity to a device microphone, and study facial expressions using the webcam’s front facing camera to deduce the unlock codes or patterns of several Android devices with alarming accuracy.

This technology is still in the development stage but if the past growth of technology is any indication this concern can turn into a huge problem within a year or two.

The findings are astonishing:  for a four digit PIN, the app was able to detect with 50% accuracy within five attempts and for an eight digit PIN, a 60% success rate was achieved within 10 attempts.

These preliminary tests was were conducted on a Nexus S and Samsung Galaxy S3, are now expected to be widened to other devices.

Do think you’re being watched or will be in the near future?

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