Mobile systems and cyber security expert Yan Wang doesn’t wear a smart watch.
“It knows too much,” says Wang, an assistant professor of computer science at Binghamton University in Upstate New York. “If you are using a smart watch, you need to be cautious.”
Wearable devices can give away your PIN number, according to research by professor Yingying Chen at Stevens Institute of Technology and three of her current and former graduate students including Wang. By combining smart watch sensor data with an algorithm to infer key entry sequences from even the smallest of hand movements, the team was able to crack private ATM PINs with 80 percent accuracy on the first try and more than 90 percent accuracy after three tries.
“This was surprising even to those of us already working in this area,” Chen, who led the research, said in a press release. “It may be easier than we think for criminals to obtain secret and private information from our wearables by using the right techniques.”