An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: Two researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have come up with a method to turn smartphone vibration motors into makeshift microphones, capable of recording the sound around them. The attack relies on using the vibration motor’s coil to record incoming sound waves, which are then transmitted to the attacker, who then uses a processing algorithm to enhance the signal by reconstructing high-frequency waves. This is needed because the vibra-motor can only pick up low-frequency sounds, up to 2 kHz. Their method doesn’t yield perfect results (4 in 5 people can understand the sounds) and also needs physical access to the device, but it puts in place the theoretical details needed to carry out and refine such attacks in the future.
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