US Navy Can Turn Your Smartphone Into a Spy

Develops Malware to Produce 3D Models of Phone's Surroundings

by Jason Ditz, October 02, 2012

Is your cellphone spying on you?

If it isn’t now, it may well be soon, thanks to a new piece of malware developed by the US Navy and called PlaceRaider, which allows them to remotely produce 3D models of whatever room an infected phone is currently in, using the camera and other censors to map out intimate parts of your life.

The developed app is Android specific, and was shown to be effective at stealing personal financial information, listening in on phone conversations, even stealing keystrokes from a nearby keyboard though the use of the phone’s accelerometer.

Deploying the app wouldn’t necessarily be all that difficult, as it could be embedded in another app for, say, a popular phone game and the end user would never realize it had been installed, let alone that it was currently running.

The malware was developed by the Naval Surface Warfare Center with a grant from the National Science Foundation, and is supposed to be a proof of concept of the bad things a criminal could theoretically do with a smartphone virus. At the same time it seems a proof of concept for the bad things the US Navy can already do with its own brand new virus.

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