Acoustic Side Channel Attack


01:41 PM

1 min read
Acoustic Side Channel Attack Blog Image


A research paper titled “A Practical Deep Learning-Based Acoustic Side Channel Attack on Keyboards”, revealed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to decode passwords by analysing the sound produced by keystrokes.

About Acoustic Side Channel Attack: 


  • This technique uses the sounds produced by typing on a keyboard to determine what keys are being pressed.
  • By analysing these unique sounds, hackers equipped with the right tools can decode the precise letters and numbers being typed.
  • Researchers investigated the use of audio recordings taken from Zoom video conferencing calls, smartphone microphones, and off-the-shelf equipment and algorithms to launch ASCA attacks.
  • The study found that when trained on keystrokes by a nearby phone, the classifier achieved an accuracy of 95%, the highest accuracy seen without the use of a language model.
  • Accuracy
    • When a deep learning model was trained on the data with default values, the model was able to acquire a meaningful interpretation of the data.
    • On a MacBook Pro, which features a keyboard identical in switch design to Apple’s models from the last two years, the model was able to achieve state-of-the-art accuracy with minimal training data.
    • Additionally, when the AI model was made to recognise keystrokes using audio captured through a smartphone microphone, it was able to achieve 95% accuracy.
  • Implications 
    • This form of hacking could expose sensitive information like passwords and personal messages.


What are Side Channel Attacks (SCAs)?

  • These are a method of hacking a cryptographic algorithm based on the analysis of auxiliary systems used in the encryption method.
  • These can be performed using a collection of signals emitted by devices, including electromagnetic waves, power consumption, mobile sensors as well as sound from keyboards and printers to target devices.
  • Once collected, these signals are used to interpret signals that can be then used to compromise the security of a device.


Q1) What is Hacking?

Hacking refers to the act of gaining unauthorized access to computer systems, networks, or digital devices with the intent of manipulating, stealing, or altering data or information.

Source: What are Acoustic Side Channel Attacks and how is AI used to increase its accuracy?