Cisco

Smartphone sensors can expose PIN and Password: Study

The new study in London found that people can reveal their security PINs and passwords with just a tilt of their smartphones. This is because of the motion sensor present in the phones. In just five attempts, the cyber experts at Newcastle University, UK were able to guess the passwords with 100% accuracy using internal sensors of the phone.

While most of the big organizations like Apple are aware of this risk, they are yet to find the solution for this.

Maryam Merhnezhad, a research fellow at Newcastle University, said that most of the smartphones, tablets and other gadgets come with an internal sensor nowadays. Since, mobile apps or websites don’t ask for permission to access content, malicious program can ‘listen in’ on your sensor data and can be used to discover PINs, passwords or other sensitive information.

“More worrying, on some browsers, we found that if you open a page on your phone or tablet which hosts one of these malicious code and then open, for example, your online banking account without closing the previous tab, then they can spy on every personal detail you enter,” she said.

“And worse still, in some cases, unless you close them down completely, they can even spy on your when the phone is locked,” she added.

Motion sensors are very common in gadgets and are largely responsible for hacking. According to the findings published in the International Journal of Information Security, there is yet no way of securing devices from malicious programs.

The team has identified 25 different sensors and only few such as camera and GPS asks user’s permission to access the device.

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