Passwords Stolen Through Finger Scans

Chinese and U.S. security researchers have revealed that cybercriminals can easily get your passwords and all other information by analyzing the radio signals that are emitted to provide Wi-Fi and how they interact with body movements.

The scientists discovered this by developing the WindTalker system, which has the ability to study old and modern Wi-Fi networks and secretly get your data, by taking a look at the directions that radio waves travel.

According to the International Business Times, although it was known that it can be done with the older-one-antenna wireless router, this is way easier with the latest, giving the fact that these comes with a technology called Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO), which have more antennas and enables the router to connect and transmit information from many devices at the same time.

This makes that if a hacker uses the WindTalker system or anything similar, it could scan your fingers' movements when you´re using your smartphone or playing a video game in a gaming console, since the routers are designed to manage every single change to the radio signal, to ensure that every single device that you have, receives the best quality signal. Basically, all of this consists of taking advantage of Wi-Fi´s structure.

According to the Association of Computing Machinery, WindTalker was implemented on several phones as an experiment, and the researchers realized that cybercriminals can get the password easily by studying how the user typed, which can be seen clearly since the finger movements alters the radio signal and are imprinted into it.

This means that if a cybercriminal controls a public Wi-Fi access point in which your smartphone is connected; they can monitor your device. The WindTalker system could spy with an accuracy rate between 70 percent and 81 percent any kind of six-digit password, which are commonly used by payment appsand banks.

The study was held last month in Vienna, Austria, and involved the Shanghai Jaio Tong University, the University of Massachusetts Boston and the University of South Florida.

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