Keyloggers can be built using a smartphone’s gyroscope sensor and how Android users can be safeguarded.
By Aneesh A S
All smartphones are equipped with a sensor called gyroscope. It determines the precise direction of the device`s tilt. This can be used to automatically activate some functions like auto-rotate screen , handling a vehicle in a racing game and many more.
These sensors are becoming more precise as smartphones evolve. Two researchers from UC Davis , Boston have successfully created a keylogger using a smartphone’s built-in gyroscope. So theoretically it is possible for an attacker to deploy a gyroscope keylogger and access private user data.
Keylogger is the software or hardware appliance with the ability to register various actions of an user like keystroking, moving and clicking of PC mouse, motions on a touch screen.
The implication of gyroscope keylogger is that of a privacy and security concern. But Android 10 has a hidden feature in the Developer options to mitigate this issue.
Turning off sensors on Android 10
It is a really simple procedure. All we have to do is get access to a hidden quick setting tile on Android 10’s developer options. This tile, when activated, will disable sensors including proximity sensor, gyroscope, ambient light sensor. These sensors will stop recording data.
Step 1 : Enabling Developer Options
Open the “Settings” app and select “About phone” then keep tapping the “Build Number” until you get a message pop up saying that you are a developer. Type in your PIN if prompted and you will have unlocked a settings menu called “Developer options.”
Step 2: Enabling the Sensor Toggle
Go to Settings > System > then select “Developer Options”. Inside Developer Options select the option “Quick Settings Developer Tiles”. Tap on the toggle beside “Sensors Off”. This will add a new tile on the Quick Settings drop-down menu.
Now go ahead and tap on the “Sensors Off” tile. As soon as you activate it, the device’s sensors including proximity sensor, gyroscope, ambient light sensor will be disabled.
Although it’s an excellent privacy feature , turning off sensors will affect the functionality of certain apps that rely on these sensors to work efficiently .