By Harry Pettit For Mailonline
Published: 16:27 BST, 6 July 2018 | Updated: 16:27 BST, 6 July 2018
Criminals can steal your password and private banking details by analysing the residual heat left by your fingertips on a computer keyboard.
According to new research, it is possible to use a thermal camera to record heat signatures left by human hands up to a minute after they last touched the keys.
Researchers said hackers could wait for someone to step away from their keyboard before stealing their login details, bank PIN or strings of text.
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Using a thermal camera, researchers showed it is possible to record heat left by your hands for up to a minute after touching a keyboard. This image shows imprints left by someone typing 'passw0rd' after 0 (top left), 15 (top right), 30 (bottom left) and 45 seconds (bottom right)
The attack, dubbed 'thermanator', was developed by scientists at the University of California to warn users to protect themselves.
Study lead author Professor Gene Tsudik told Bleeping Computer: 'It's a new attack that allows someone with a mid-range thermal camera to capture keys pressed on a normal keyboard, up to one minute after the victim enters them.
'If you type your password and walk or step away, someone can learn a lot about it after-the-fact.'
For the attack to work, hackers must place a thermal camera within a clear view of the computer keyboard.
Footage of thermal prints can then be analysed to figure out passwords and other typed information.