Looking through your smartphone screen to steal your pin using a 3D camera

Diksha Shukla, Vir V. Phoha, Saurav Prakash

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution


Recent research shows that video recordings of the user’s hand movement and his or her smartphone screen display can be used to steal sensitive information such as pins and passwords. The methods presented in the past assume the victim to be present in a well illuminated place. In this paper, we present a novel attack on the smartphone users’ pins that does not require a highly illuminated room and works even in the complete darkness. We use a DS325 Soft Kinect camera to record the users’ interaction with their smartphones while they type their pins. Using the 900 short RGBD video recording of the pin entry process from 30 different users, we show our attack was able to break 43% of the pins in the first attempt and 61% of the pins in the first 10 attempts. With the advancements in the quality and accessibility of the depth-sensing cameras day by day, we believe our work exposes a major security risk in the present and future and calls the community to take a closer look at the security measures for the usage of the smart devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIntelligent Computing - Proceedings of the 2018 Computing Conference
EditorsSupriya Kapoor, Rahul Bhatia, Kohei Arai
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783030011765
StatePublished - 2019
EventComputing Conference, 2018 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Jul 10 2018Jul 12 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
ISSN (Print)2194-5357


OtherComputing Conference, 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • 3D video recording
  • Infra red sensor
  • Pins and passwords
  • Security
  • Smartphone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • General Computer Science


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