Android App secretly reconstructs your environment using smartphone sensors.
US researchers working with the Naval Surface Warfare Center have created a new type of ‘visual malware’, able to use smartphone cameras and sensors to record and later reconstruct a 3D model of a room. Called PlaceRaider, the app could potentially be loaded onto a users Android device under the guise of a camera app, which would allow it permissions to use the camera.
It then works in the background, taking photos (with the speaker muted), and recording data about time, location, and orientation of the device. Unusable photos - such as those taken in a pocket - are filtered out, and the rest are sent to a central server where they can be automatically pieced together to form a 3D model of the environment.
A malicious user can then browse this space looking for objects worth stealing and sensitive data such as credit card details, identity data or calender details that reveal when the user might be away.
In testing, infected devices were given to 20 people, and all 20 provided the server with enough information to provide detailed models of a room. The software runs on Android 2.3 or later.