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Is your Smartwatch spying on you?





Security researchers at a leading cybersecurity firm have demonstrated that smartwatches could be turned into a spying tool by using a device's accelerometer and gyroscope to track the owner's movements.


Russia-based Kaspersky Labs said 'Trojan watches' could be hijacked by hackers to steal ATM PINs, phone unlock codes and passwords entered into a computer.

Kaspersky Lab reported that the same technology is used by every fitness tracker apps to tell the movements of the owner whether they are sitting, walking, running, or even changing subway lines.

While investigating researchers found out that neural networks can be trained to recognize the typing patterns of an individual.

'With neural networks, signals from the three axes of the accelerometer and gyroscope can be used to decipher the PIN code of a random person with a minimum accuracy of 80 percent,' the report stated.

'So an unassuming fitness app or a new watch face from the Google Play store can be used against you, right now in fact,' warned the report.

'Simply sending your geotag once and requesting the email address linked to your Google Play account is enough to determine, based on your movements, who you are, where you've been, your smartphone usage, and when you entered a PIN at an ATM.'


Now, if you are worried about your own smartwatch here are some tips to check if your's is hacked or not, check your battery life, and keep an eye on their app permissions, and install spyware detection software. 

"Indications your smartwatch might have been compromised by hackers or spies via an app:

1. If the app sends a request for data about the user's account (the GET_ACCOUNTS permission in Android) it could be a cybercriminal trying to match your 'digital footprint'

2. If the app additionally requests permission to send geolocation data it might be trying to send that data to a thief (Do not to give additional permissions to fitness trackers that you download onto your smartwatch, and specify a company email address at the time of registration)

3. If the device suddenly has a short battery life you might be being tracked

4. If your internet data usage spikes, it could also be the accelerometer working overtime," Kaspersky Lab