Have you heard about AI acoustic side-channel attacks? These sophisticated cyberattacks exploit the sound emitted by devices like keyboards to extract sensitive information. With advancements in artificial intelligence, particularly deep learning techniques, these attacks have become even more accurate and effective.
Read on to learn what these attacks are, how they work, and what you can do to protect your business.
What is an AI Acoustic Side-Channel Attack?
AI acoustic side-channel attacks are a type of cyberattack that leverages the sound produced by devices, such as keyboards, to extract sensitive information. While these attacks are not new, advancements in artificial intelligence, specifically deep learning techniques, have increased their accuracy and effectiveness.
Computer scientists from Durham University, University of Surrey, and Royal Holloway University of London, simulated a cyberattack to demonstrate the feasibility of these attacks. Using off-the-shelf equipment and algorithms, they showed that acoustic side-channel attacks can be very successful with high accuracy rates, such as 93% when training the model with keystrokes recorded from Zoom meetings and 95% when using recordings taken from a smartphone.
How Do These Attacks Work?
Through a microphone or specialized software, an attacker has the capability to listen and record sounds produced by a person’s keystrokes. The recorded sounds are then used to train an artificial intelligence (AI) system, enabling it to identify and comprehend various keystrokes. Once the AI model has been trained, it can analyze new recordings of keystrokes and attempt to decipher the typed information by detecting patterns in the sound. This technique gives the attacker access to sensitive information such as passwords or usernames entered using the keyboard.
How to Prevent an Attack
Despite the alarming nature of AI acoustic side-channel attacks, there are some practical steps you can take to protect yourself and your business:
- Diversify Typing Patterns: By changing your typing style and rhythm, you can make it challenging for AI to detect a consistent pattern.
- Employ Strong Passwords: Create passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, and use the “shift” key to add complexity.
- Embrace Background Noise: Introducing ambient noise while on video calls can help conceal the sound of typing from potential eavesdroppers.
- Stay Updated: Regularly updating your devices and practicing good security measures will further bolster your digital defense.
As the prevalence of microphone-containing devices and machine learning advancements continue to increase, the threat of AI acoustic side-channel attacks becomes more significant. As technology evolves, it has become even more important to prioritize robust security measures to mitigate the risks associated with this emerging threat.
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