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Best of 2012: PlaceRaider: The Military Smartphone Malware Designed to Steal Your Life

In September, the US Naval Surface Warfare Center created an Android app that secretly records your environment and reconstructs it as a 3D virtual model for a malicious user to browse

“The power of modern smartphones is one of the technological wonders of our age. These devices carry a suite of sensors capable of monitoring the environment in detail, powerful data processors and the ability to transmit and receive information at high rates. 

So it’s no surprise that smartphones are increasingly targeted by malware designed to exploit this newfound power. Examples include software that listens for spoken credit card numbers or uses the on-board accelerometers to monitor credit card details entered as keystrokes.

Today Robert Templeman at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana, and a few pals at Indiana University reveal an entirely new class of ‘visual malware’ capable of recording and reconstructing a user’s environment in 3D. This then allows the  theft of virtual objects such as financial information, data on computer screens and identity-related information. 

Continued…

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