Tap 'n ghost: A compilation of novel attack techniques against smartphone touchscreens

Seita Maruyama, Satohiro Wakabayashi, Tatsuya Mori

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a novel attack named 'Tap 'n Ghost', which aims to attack the touchscreens of NFC-enabled mobile devices such as smartphones. Tap 'n Ghost consists of two striking attack techniques - - 'Tag-based Adaptive Ploy (TAP)' and 'Ghost Touch Generator.' First, using a NFC card emulator embedded in a common object such as table, a TAP system performs tailored attacks on the victim's smartphone by employing device fingerprinting; e.g., popping up a customized dialogue box asking whether or not to connect to an attacker's Bluetooth mouse. Further, Ghost Touch Generator forces the victim to connect to the mouse even if she or he aimed to cancel the dialogue by touching the 'cancel' button; i.e., it alters the selection of a button on a screen. After the connection is established, the attacker can remotely take control of the smartphone, with the knowledge about the layout of the screen derived from the device fingerprinting. To evaluate the reality of the attack, we perform an online survey with 300 respondents and a user study involving 16 participants. The results demonstrate that the attack is realistic. We additionally discuss the possible countermeasures against the threats posed by Tap 'n Ghost.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, SP 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages620-637
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781538666609
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May
Event40th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, SP 2019 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 2019 May 192019 May 23

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy
Volume2019-May
ISSN (Print)1081-6011

Conference

Conference40th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, SP 2019
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Period19/5/1919/5/23

Keywords

  • Attack
  • NFC
  • Smartphone
  • Touchscreen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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  • Cite this

    Maruyama, S., Wakabayashi, S., & Mori, T. (2019). Tap 'n ghost: A compilation of novel attack techniques against smartphone touchscreens. In Proceedings - 2019 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, SP 2019 (pp. 620-637). [8835251] (Proceedings - IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy; Vol. 2019-May). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/SP.2019.00037