Mobile malware can be triggered by lighting, music and vibration

By Kul Bhushan | Published on Jan 01 1970
Mobile malware can be triggered by lighting, music and vibration
HIGHLIGHTS

Now music, lighting and vibrations can potentially be used to trigger malware attacks on mobile devices, shows a new research.

Make your home smarter than the average home

Make your life smarter, simpler, and more convenient with IoT enabled TVs, speakers, fans, bulbs, locks and more.

Click here to know more

A new research shows criminals can soon start using hard-to-detect methods involving lighting or vibration and music to launch malware attacks on mobile devices. The revelation was made in the research prepared by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), presented at 8th Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security (ASIACCS) in Hangzhou, China.

"When you go to an arena or Starbucks, you don't expect the music to have a hidden message, so this is a big paradigm shift because the public sees only emails and the Internet as vulnerable to malware attacks," said Ragib Hasan, assistant professor of computer and information sciences and director of the UAB SECuRE and Trustworthy (SECRET) computing lab.

"We devote a lot of our efforts towards securing traditional communication channels. But when bad guys use such hidden and unexpected methods to communicate, it is difficult if not impossible to detect that," Hasan said.

The UAB researchers succeeded in triggering malware in mobile devices from 55 feet away in a crowded hallway using music. They also launched malware at various distances using music videos, lighting from TV, computer and overhead bulbs and vibrations from a subwoofer.

"We showed that these sensory channels can be used to send short messages that may eventually be used to trigger a mass-signal attack," said Nitesh Saxena, director of the UAB Security and Privacy in Emerging computing and networking Systems (SPIES) research group and assistant professor in the Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research (CIA-JFR).

"While traditional networking communication used to send such triggers can be detected relatively easily, there does not seem to be a good way to detect such covert channels currently," Saxena said.

Researchers succeeded in triggering malware with a bandwidth of only five bits per second - a fraction of the bandwidth that's used by laptops or home computers.

"This kind of attack is sophisticated and difficult to build, but it will become increasingly easier to accomplish in the future as technology improves," said Shams Zawoad, a doctoral student and graduate assistant in the SECRET computing lab.

"We need to create defenses before these attacks become widespread, so it is better that we find out these techniques first and stay one step ahead," Zawoad said.

Source: IndianExpress

logo
Kul Bhushan

Advertisements

Trending Articles

Advertisements

latest articles

View All
Advertisements

Top Products

Popular Mobile Phones

View All

Hot Deals

View All

Digit caters to the largest community of tech buyers, users and enthusiasts in India. The all new Digit in continues the legacy of Thinkdigit.com as one of the largest portals in India committed to technology users and buyers. Digit is also one of the most trusted names when it comes to technology reviews and buying advice and is home to the Digit Test Lab, India's most proficient center for testing and reviewing technology products.

We are about leadership-the 9.9 kind! Building a leading media company out of India.And,grooming new leaders for this promising industry.