Keystrokes inference attack on android: A comparative evaluation of sensors and their fusion

Ahmed Al-Haiqi, Mahamod Ismail, Rosdiadee Nordin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Introducing motion sensors into smartphones contributed to a wide range of applications in human-phone interaction, gaming, and many others. However, built-in sensors that detect subtle motion changes (e.g. accelerometers), might also reveal information about taps on touch screens: the main user input mode. Few researchers have already demonstrated the idea of exploiting motion sensors as side-channels into inferring keystrokes. Taken at most as initial explorations, much research is still needed to analyze the practicality of the new threat and examine various aspects of its implementation. One important aspect affecting directly the attack effectiveness is the selection of the right combination of sensors, to supply inference data. Although other aspects also play crucial role (e.g. the features set), we start in this paper by focusing on the comparison of different available sensors, in terms of the inference accuracy. We consider individual sensors shipped on Android phones, and study few options of preprocessing their raw datasets as well as fusing several sensors' readings. Our results indicate an outstanding performance of the gyroscope, and the potential of sensors data fusion. However, it seems that sensors with magnetometer component or the accelerometer alone have less benefit in the context of the adverted attack.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-136
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of ICT Research and Applications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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