That phone charging hub knows your video playlist!

Sraddhanjali Acharya, Abdul Serwadda, Argenis V. Bilbao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

The rapid growth of smartphone usage has sparked a proliferation of public phone-charging hubs to cater to peoples' growing charging needs. By virtue of being located in public spaces, however, these hubs have the potential to be manipulated by malicious actors who seek to use them as a vehicle to launch cyberattacks against the users of these hubs. In this paper, we show that if such a public charging hub is rigged with a power measurement circuitry, the power measurements could enable the inference of videos watched by the user on the phone. Using a playlist of 100 YouTube music videos, we show this kind of attack to classify the videos with an accuracy of up to 94.49%. We rigorously examine the dynamics of the attack using 5 different phone models, 16 screen brightness and volume configurations, and various training configurations and show it to be highly effective under a wide range of settings. Depending on the content of such videos, the profile of the target, and the attacker's aims (e.g., government vs. private hacker), we argue that such an attack could have far-reaching privacy implications. The paper adds to the body of work highlighting power side-channels on computing devices as a potent threat to user privacy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2021 IEEE SmartWorld, Ubiquitous Intelligence and Computing, Advanced and Trusted Computing, Scalable Computing and Communications, Internet of People, and Smart City Innovations, SmartWorld/ScalCom/UIC/ATC/IoP/SCI 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages160-169
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781665412360
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 IEEE SmartWorld, Ubiquitous Intelligence and Computing, Advanced and Trusted Computing, Scalable Computing and Communications, Internet of People, and Smart City Innovations, SmartWorld/ScalCom/UIC/ATC/IoP/SCI 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Oct 18 2021Oct 21 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2021 IEEE SmartWorld, Ubiquitous Intelligence and Computing, Advanced and Trusted Computing, Scalable Computing and Communications, Internet of People, and Smart City Innovations, SmartWorld/ScalCom/UIC/ATC/IoP/SCI 2021

Conference

Conference2021 IEEE SmartWorld, Ubiquitous Intelligence and Computing, Advanced and Trusted Computing, Scalable Computing and Communications, Internet of People, and Smart City Innovations, SmartWorld/ScalCom/UIC/ATC/IoP/SCI 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
Period10/18/2110/21/21

Keywords

  • Machine Learning
  • Mobile Security
  • Power side channel attack
  • Security and privacy
  • Side channel analysis
  • Video Inference

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