Title: Identification of mobile phones using the built-in magnetometers stimulated by motion patterns
Authors: BALDINI GIANMARCODIMC FRANCKAMNIK ROMANSTERI GARYGIULIANI RAIMONDOGENTILE CLAUDIO
Citation: SENSORS vol. 17 no. 4 p. 783
Publisher: MDPI AG
Publication Year: 2017
JRC N°: JRC106356
ISSN: 1424-8220
URI: http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/17/4/783/htm
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC106356
DOI: 10.3390/s17040783
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: We investigate the identification of mobile phones through their built-in magnetometers. These electronic components have started to be widely deployed in mass market phones in recent years, and they can be exploited to uniquely identify mobile phones due their physical differences, which appear in the digital output generated by them. This is similar to approaches reported in the literature for other components of the mobile phone, including the digital camera, the microphones or their Radio Frequency (RF) transmission components. In this paper, the identification is performed through an inexpensive device made up of a platform that rotates the mobile phone under test and a fixed magnet positioned on the edge of the rotating platform. When the mobile phone passes in front of the fixed magnet, the built-in magnetometer is stimulated, and its digital output is recorded and analyzed. For each mobile phone, the experiment is repeated over six different days to ensure consistency in the results. A total of 10 phones of different brands and models or of the same model were used in our experiment. The digital output from the magnetometers is synchronized and correlated, and statistical features are extracted to generate a fingerprint of the built-in magnetometer and, consequently, of the mobile phone. A Support Vector Machine (SVM) machine learning algorithm is used to classify the mobile phones on the basis of the extracted statistical features. Our results show that inter-model classification (i.e., different models and brands classification) is possible with great accuracy, but intra-model (i.e., phones with different serial numbers and same model) classification is more challenging, the resulting accuracy being just slightly above random choice.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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