Researchers used Lego to get past a new kind of smartphone security


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All the researchers needed was a mechanical finger.

Researchers have found a reliable way of getting past a type of device security using a robot built with Lego, Motherboard reports.

One way to secure your mobile phone or tablet is something called "gesture analysis." The device learns how you use the phone by recording your swipes and taps. It can then build up a profile of you in order to verify you using the way you use your phone.

But Motherboard reports that a study carried out by researchers in the US found that it's relatively easy to fake a user's swipes using a robot built with Lego.


Researchers created a fake finger and attached it to a device that played back other people's swipes. The mechanical finger then replicated those swipes on the device. Sure enough, the device regularly thought that the machine was a real user.

One method that researchers used resulted in the machine being counted as a real user 90% of the time. That's a pretty good success rate.

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