This AI can steal your data by listening to your keystrokes with 95% accuracy

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So, you're a security conscious gamer. You've got strong passwords, you don't click suspicious links and you're not conned by yet another amazing offer of free bitcoin. But when was the last time you gave thought to the security of your typing? That dastardly AI strikes again. This one is able to listen to your keystrokes and predict what you're typing with 95% accuracy.

Bleeping Computer reports that a team from several British universities has trained an AI to accurately predict your key inputs via a microphone. That means anything you type on your keyboard, such as passwords, private messages, company secrets, and even potentially classified material could be leaked to a third party. Here is the research paper.

The deep learning model is able to train itself by recording the minute differences in various keystrokes. The waveforms of the sounds each key produces are then used to predict what is being typed with scary accuracy.

The researchers used a MacBook Pro for typing, while recording audio from a nearby iPhone and perhaps most disturbingly, via a Zoom call. So it's not just your own security you'd need to be responsible for. You'll need everyone else on the call to be conscious of it too.

Zoom aside, surely such an attack would still need microphone access permissions. So, as long as you're aware of malware and how to avoid it you should be fine, and if not, well, you've probably got more pressing matters to worry about. 

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What this does is bring more attention to how vulnerable much of the data we take for granted really is. It's one thing to avoid phishing, but it's quite another to think about just who—or what—is listening in on things you don't want to be disclosed.

Interestingly, the testing was still accurate on quiet keyboards, so my wish to have blue keyboards banned might fall upon deaf ears, at least those who aren't deaf already after being tortured by those things.

What's next? An AI that can zoom in on your fingerprint and use it to access all your devices? Your phone's selfie camera stealing a picture of your retina? That's if some rogue AI doesn't decide to kill us all first. What a crazy world we live in. AI and deep learning models are evolving by the day, and so are the clever scumbags who rip off others.

Chris Szewczyk
Hardware Writer

Chris' gaming experiences go back to the mid-nineties when he conned his parents into buying an 'educational PC' that was conveniently overpowered to play Doom and Tie Fighter. He developed a love of extreme overclocking that destroyed his savings despite the cheaper hardware on offer via his job at a PC store. To afford more LN2 he began moonlighting as a reviewer for VR-Zone before jumping the fence to work for MSI Australia. Since then, he's gone back to journalism, enthusiastically reviewing the latest and greatest components for PC & Tech Authority, PC Powerplay and currently Australian Personal Computer magazine and PC Gamer. Chris still puts far too many hours into Borderlands 3, always striving to become a more efficient killer.