AI with 95% accuracy can steal passwords by ‘listening’ to keystrokes: Study

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San Francisco: Researchers have found that threat actors could use artificial intelligence (AI) tools to steal user passwords with near-perfect accuracy by "listening" to an unsuspecting person's keystrokes, a new study has shown.

According to the results published in the study by the US-based Cornell University, when the AI programme was activated on a nearby smartphone, it was able to accurately reproduce the typed password with a whopping 95 per cent accuracy.

A group of computer scientists from the UK trained an AI model to recognise keystroke sounds on the 2021 version of a MacBook Pro -- dubbed a "popular off-the-shelf laptop", reports New York Post.

During a Zoom video conference, the hacker-friendly AI tool was also extremely accurate while "listening" to typing through the laptop's microphone.

According to the researchers, it reproduced the keystrokes with 93 per cent accuracy, a record for the medium.

Moreover, the researchers cautioned that many users are unaware that bad actors could monitor their typing in order to breach accounts -- a type of cyberattack known as an "acoustic side-channel attack".

"The ubiquity of keyboard acoustic emanations makes them not only a readily available attack vector but also prompts victims to underestimate (and therefore not try to hide) their output," the study said.

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