No Place to Hide that Bytes won’t Reveal: Sniffing Location-Based Encrypted Traffic to Track a User’s Position

Intelligence agencies, which are able to monitor large networks or entire portions of the Internet backbone, have been considered the main adversaries for Location Based Services (LBSs) in the last years.
A third party different from the traditional LBS provider, however, exists. Unauthorized third parties try to infer the location and monitor the movements of LBS users extrapolating their position by just analyzing the size and the timing of the encrypted traffic exchanged between users and LBS providers.
Empirically evidences of this phenomenon exist. The article “No Place to Hide that Bytes won’t Reveal: Sniffing Location-Based Encrypted Traffic to Track a User’s Position” describes a thorough analysis of a widely deployed location based app that comes pre-installed with many Android devices: GoogleNow. The results highlight the importance of devising more effective countermeasures against powerful adversaries to preserve the privacy of LBS users.