Watching the Watchers: Practical Video Identification Attack in LTE Networks (Paper, 2022, USENIX Security 2022) 4 stars

A video identification attack is a tangible privacy threat that can reveal videos that victims …

Scary capability, good research

4 stars

[Included in ThinkstScapes]

This paper explored using ML techniques to identify LTE devices streaming specific content via their bandwidth fingerprint. The authors identify that video streaming encodes a specific duration of video into a data-chunk, so each video has a unique sequence of transmitted chunk sizes, allowing for fingerprinting a media sample, and then classifying an encrypted network stream to determine if it is that video.

The experiment ran both open and closed world, and showed high accuracy, even with other device processes using data, and with other channel usage to increase channel capacity. In short, they were able to [with high confidence] determine what video every LTE device was watching in a cell (assuming it was seen prior).