Visit ArabTopics.com

Your phone can now be turned into an ultrasound sonar tracker against you and others

radar-sonar-closeup-1280x720-istockphoto

Global: New research shows how a mobile phone can be turned into a passive indoor ultrasound sonar, locating people with high precision indoors using multi-target echolocation, and is even able to discern a rough selection of activities. It does this by overlaying imperceptible ultrasound sonar pings into played-back music, measuring the reflections coming back to the phone’s microphone. The privacy implications are staggering.

By emitting inaudible ultrasound pings as part of normal music playback, a phone can be turned into a passive sonar device, researchers from the University of Washington show in a new paper. It can track multiple individuals at an indoor precision of 8 centimeters (3 inches), and detect different types of activity by the people in its detection zone — even through barriers, all using a normal smartphone.

People with military technology background will recognize this as next-generation passive covert radar systems, radar systems which don’t transmit, but which detect objects in the sky from changes to reflection patterns from everpresent civilian transmitters such as radio and TV towers. The primary advantage of passive covert radars is that they can’t be detected, as they only contain very sensitive receivers, no transmitters. This phone research appear to be using the same kind of technology, except it is also used as a transmitter of ultrasound pings; however, it would be trivial to separate the transmitter of pings from the receiver of the reflected patterns.

“We achieve this by transforming a smartphone into an active sonar system that emits a combination of a sonar pulse and music and listens to the reflections off of humans in the environment. Our implementation, CovertBand, monitors minute changes to these reflections to track multiple people concurrently and to recognize different types of motion, leaking information about where people are in addition to what they may be doing.”

The researchers are straightforward about the privacy threat that this technology poses: “There are privacy leaks possible with today’s devices that go beyond the ability to simply record conversations in the home. For example, what if an attacker could remotely co-opt your television to track you as you move around, without you knowing? Further, what if that attacker could figure out what you were doing in addition to where you were? Could they even figure out if you were doing something with another person?”

The researchers have tested five different indoor environment and over thirty different moving individuals, and show that even under ideal conditions, the people typically could not detect the tracking.

“We evaluated CovertBand by running experiments in five homes in the Seattle area, showing that we can localize both single and multiple individuals through barriers. These tests show CovertBand can track walking subjects with a mean tracking error of 18 cm and subjects moving at a fixed position with an accuracy of 8 cm at up to 6 m in line-of-sight and 3 m through barriers.”

It’s conceivable that malicious apps with access to the speakers and microphone will be able to use this. It’s also conceivable that apps already are. Among many smartphone devices, the researchers also implemented their CovertBand demonstrator on a 42-inch SHARP television set.

“Even in ideal scenarios, listeners were unlikely to detect a CovertBand attack.”

Your privacy remains your own responsibility.

(This is a post from Falkvinge on Liberty, obtained via RSS at this feed.)

Source: 
Rick Falkvinge

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
WWI Hidden History 50
Grayzone Project 60
Pass Blue 134
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 14
John Pilger 415
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 29
Need To Know News 2149
FEE 3981
Marine Le Pen 288
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 734
Mohamed Omar 298
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 40
Angry Foreigner 17
Fritte Fritzson 12
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 91
Vetenskapsradion Historia 139
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 199
Les Crises 2366
Richard Falk 142
Ian Sinclair 92
SpinWatch 56
Counter Currents 7779
Kafila 407
Gail Malone 34
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 94
The Duran 8527
Vanessa Beeley 93
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 5315
Paul Craig Roberts 1448
News Junkie Post 58
Nomi Prins 27
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 4235
Sir Ken Robinson 20
Stephan Kinsella 79
Liberty Blitzkrieg 831
Sami Bedouin 62
Consortium News 2359
21 Century Wire 3257
Burning Blogger 318
Stephen Gowans 76
David D. Friedman 148
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1496
Tom Dispatch 465
Levant Report 18
The Saker 3875
The Barnes Review 502
John Friend 410
Psyche Truth 146
Jonathan Cook 135
New Eastern Outlook 3536
School Sucks Project 1757
Giza Death Star 1739
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 589
GMWatch 2049
Robert Faurisson 150
Espionage History Archive 34
Jay's Analysis 854
Le 4ème singe 88
Jacob Cohen 203
Agora Vox 13399
Cercle Des Volontaires 427
Panamza 1929
Fairewinds 109
Project Censored 808
Spy Culture 448
Conspiracy Archive 70
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 528
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 705
Independent Science News 70
The Anti Media 6158
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 276
The Mind renewed 434
Natural Society 2563
Yanis Varoufakis 901
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 97
Web of Debt 136
Porkins Policy Review 386
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 579
Libyan War Truth 306
DeadLine Live 1909
Kevin Ryan 62
BSNEWS 2014
Aaron Franz 209
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 121
Dr. Bruce Levine 136
Peter B Collins 1456
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 10074
Climate Audit 222
Donna Laframboise 397
Judith Curry 1095
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 2179
Syria Report 76
Human Rights Investigation 90
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 10981
Laura Wells Solutions 39
Video Rebel's Blog 420
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 19101
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 2849
Northerntruthseeker 2218
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4690
AntiWar.com Blog 2867
AntiWar.com Original Content 6528
Corbett Report 2204
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1148
Webster Tarpley Website 1040

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public