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Information Inference based on Barometer Sensor in Android Devices

  • Author / Creator
    Hafez, Alireza
  • Most modern smartphones are equipped with barometer sensors. Accessing barometers does not require any permission or user notification, as it is deemed to be harmless. We show, however, that by simply reading low-rate barometer's samples, any background application can detect user's finger taps on the device's touch screen, and infer information about the positions of the taps. This can reveal sensitive information to background applications that, for security reasons, do not have access to the touch screen input. In addition, we show that barometers' samples reveal information about the smartphone's speaker activity. Specifically, using simple machine learning and classification methods, we detect with high accuracy whether the speaker is silent or playing a given sound such as a ringtone.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2020
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-59qm-mw38
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.