I’ll be damned if this actually works. Wait. It actually worked. What you about to hear is something rather disturbing. Researchers at National University of Singapore (NUS) have recently published a study on acoustic cryptanalysis, applied to house keys.
Acoustic cryptanalysis, for those who aren’t familiar, is the analysis of sounds of, say, a computer or device, to determine what someone is typing based on each click of the keyboard. I know. It sounds totally creepy and it is more creepy when you know this form of security attack can be used to decipher the “biting” of house keys too.
If that does not creep you out, wait till you hear that it is totally doable through recording a key turning using a regular smartphone. Yikes. Dang it. Who in the world would do this kind of study!???
The researchers have demonstrated that it is entirely possible for software to determine the most likely shape, i.e. the notches and ridges/teeth, of a key by analyzing the sound when a key engages and turns in a lock.
While it may a difficult thing to do (the analysis of the sound and inferring the biting of the key), the researchers have proven it can be done and doing it at quite an alarming accuracy.
That was given today’s technology. With advancement in software, smarter algorithms and better microphone – specifically on smartphone in near future, it could be an easy to do thing even for layman like you and me.
via boing boing.