back to article Navy devs cook up Android spyware to map your location - in 3D

Indiana students working with the US Navy have demonstrated malware capable of mapping a room and creating a 3D-navigable space to help information thieves find what they're looking for. The Indiana University team, which includes a representative from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, created PlaceRaider – smartphone software …


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  1. DutchP

    Very annoying

    Not being spied upon, obviously, that happens all the time, we're used to that, and anyway if you have nothing to hide...., privacy is obsolete anyway, this is the 21st century, insert your mantra of choice here.


    1. it mutes the volume every time it takes a snap

    2. answering a call is supposed to give it a decent sweep of the room

    So if I talk to someone with an infected phone, I'll be constantly repeating myself because the volume gets muted on the other end.

    They're really gonna have to do better than that.

    1. An ominous cow herd

      Re: Very annoying

      Well then, read again... point 2 is for video, and there's no shutter sound when filming, is there?

  2. Gomez Adams

    Wouldn't work on me

    For the simple reason I use a wrap around phone cover in normal use and have to let the flap swing free and easy away from the back of the phone to let the dog see the rabbit. :D

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wouldn't work on me

      I rather think it would work on you - because of other people's phones.

  3. S4qFBxkFFg

    This can be used for good, as well as evil.

    If this was used voluntarily, it could drastically improve the quality of all sorts of mapping projects.

    With a little improvement, the Google Street View cars would be quickly rendered obsolete; another application could be producing maps for attractions such as amusement parks and museums.

    I'd be quite happy to have such an app running on my phone as long as I could reliably and automatically turn it off for private locations (e.g. my home and office).

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: This can be used for good, as well as evil.

      You are making the assumption that Google's Street view is good and not evil. Maybe it is, but maybe it isn't.

  4. SkippyBing

    HTC's rubbish cameras actually a security feature?

    Certainly I can't see them getting anything useful off the one on my Desire...

  5. dogged

    they're going to end up with some outstanding maps of people's trouser pockets.

  6. Stevie


    Could explain why the battery life is so short on my old Samsung phone.

    Good luck capturing anything remotely interesting. I keep mine in a wrap-around case or in a pocket. When it is out in the open it is typically looking at a tabletop from a distance of about half a millimetre.

  7. Eddy Ito


    Will they provide a handy review of the numerous restaurants they are inevitably going to map? Perhaps they could also include tips at particular places such as "don't order the uni, it's never fresh but the chutoro is simply amazing".

  8. Mike Flugennock


    "...Obviously useless snaps are then discarded – which amounted to almost three-quarters of them in testing – and the rest are sent back to the miscreant along with the orientation data..."

    For every instance of the word "miscreant", subsitute "government".

    I mean, c'mon; these flunkies -- uhh, students -- worked on this with the US Navy, f'cripesake. What, do I look like I just fell of a goddamn' turnip truck or something?

  9. Euripides Pants

    Low tech solution

    Stick a piece of electrical tape over the camera...

  10. wim

    aural ?

    how long before they can map your surrounding with sound?

    the popcorn shooter mentioned in another reg article can pinpoint where your mouth is with the use of one word.

    I am sure that some one could develop software that maps your surrounding by listening to the echo of your own voice if they can make the microphone sensitive enough. Hello batman mobile phone application.

  11. Timothy Economou


    So the navy has nice pictures of my pocket and my wifes purse. Who really is this targeting?

  12. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge


    My Samsung Stratosphere has the choice of no camera noise. I turned it off, because those fake camera noises always sound terrible.

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