How to track the user when the mobile phone GPS is off

The average mobile phone user thinks that as long as the GPS positioning function on the mobile phone is turned off, others cannot track their own movement trajectory, but this is not the case.

In the researchers' latest test, the researchers used other sensors inside the phone to perform positioning functions as well. The reason for carrying out such experiments is to tell ordinary users that they need to pay attention to the various functions of the mobile phone at all times.

Once these functions are used, they can launch a bypass attack. In layman's terms, the "curve saves the country" method can obtain the user's location information even when the mobile phone GPS positioning is turned off. Therefore, from a certain perspective, the mobile phone is the best monitoring tool.

The researchers chose Google's Android phone as the test object for testing. Through various sensors installed inside the phone, such as acceleration sensors, electronic compasses, and gyroscopes, these sensors can track the user's location information.

The common feature of the above three sensors is that whenever the physical state of the mobile phone changes, it will be recorded. Therefore, as long as the user carries this phone, as long as the physical state of the phone changes, it will be recorded and saved, which is similar to spy tools.

WiFi position
cell phone location

If you need to collect information about these sensors, you only need to install an application on your phone. In the experiment, after the researchers installed a flashlight application, this program will automatically obtain the data collected by these sensors in the background by default.

Taking the city of Boston where the experiment is located as an example, since there are many special forms of streets or road turns in the city, the sensor information collected by the mobile phone carried by the experimenter can be among the most possible 5 options , 50% can guess where the user is. For some bustling city centers, due to the high degree of gridding, it is not easy to locate.

In short, the more sensor information collected, the more accurate the positioning information. If the user takes his own mobile phone and walks through the necessary places every day, then he can draw the user's residence, work place, route trajectory, with an accuracy rate of up to 90%.

With the upgrading of smart phones, the accuracy of these internal sensors is also continuously upgraded, and what comes is the continuous improvement of accuracy. Although the Android phone was used in this experiment, because some applications require the same permissions on both platforms, this problem also exists on the iPhone.

At the end of the experiment, a Google spokesperson said that the latest Android operating system, Android P, has already restricted the permissions of applications, especially the permissions of some sensors, to prevent the misuse of users’ personal data.

And Apple has not made any statement. In order to better protect their privacy, ordinary users download applications from the official application store as much as possible, and at the same time ensure that the operating system of their mobile phones is always updated.

Post time: Jun-17-2020