Gyrophone: Recognizing Speech From Gyroscope Signals

Authors: Y. Michalevsky, G. Nakibly, and D. Boneh

We show that the MEMS gyroscopes found on modern smart phones are sufficiently sensitive to measure acoustic signals in the vicinity of the phone. The resulting signals contain only very low-frequency information (<200Hz). Nevertheless we show, using signal processing and machine learning, that this information is sufficient to identify speaker information and even parse speech. Since iOS and Android require no special permissions to access the gyro, our results show that apps and active web content that cannot access the microphone can nevertheless eavesdrop on speech in the vicinity of the phone.

In proceedings of Usenix Security 2014

Full paper: pdf