Defending Against Sensor-Sniffing Attacks on Mobile Phones

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Executive Summary

Modern mobile phones possess three types of capabilities: computing, communication, and sensing. While these capabilities enable a variety of novel applications, they also raise serious privacy concerns. The authors explore the vulnerability where attackers snoop on users by sniffing on their mobile phone sensors, such as the microphone, camera, and GPS receiver. They show that current mobile phone platforms inadequately protect their users from this threat. To provide better privacy for mobile phone users, the authors analyze desirable uses of these sensors and discuss the properties of good privacy protection solutions. Then, they propose a general framework for such solutions and discuss various possible approaches to implement the framework's components.

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