HomeNewsYour smartphone sensors are not as safe as they are claimed to...

Your smartphone sensors are not as safe as they are claimed to be!

A new study has disclosed the possibilities where people can spy on your smartphone through these sensors. So much so that one can actually guess your smartphone’s PIN with the help of these sensors.

Have those smartphone sensors ever bothered you? There is a high possibility that they haven’t, mostly because these sensors sit silently inside your smartphone with not much visible actions of their own. However, a new study has disclosed the possibilities where people can spy on your smartphone through these sensors. So much so that one can actually guess your smartphone’s PIN with the help of these sensors.

If you are presuming this to be a lengthy, time-consuming process than you might give this a read because researchers from Newcastle University has found out a way to spy on your smartphone’s PIN through your browser.

To explain, Dr Maryam Mehrnezhad, a research fellow and lead author of the research paper claims that one can simply run a javascript which is then pushed to the smartphone through a website or a mobile app and can actually take help of the data recorded by smartphone sensors to extract your smartphone’s PIN. This is because most of the mobile apps and websites don’t need permission to access most of these sensors and can easily extract data.

The research report from Dr Maryam read – “In total, the team identified 25 different sensors which now come as standard on most smart devices and are used to give different information about the device and its user. Only a small number of these – such as the camera and GPS – ask the user’s permission to access the device.”

Dr Maryam also claimed that if you have a web page open on your smartphone with this malicious javascript running in the background and you open your online banking account in a new tab without closing the previous tab, people might have access to your personal detail entered to your banking account page.

“And worse still, in some cases, unless you close them down completely, they can even spy on you when your phone is locked.” – said Dr Maryam.

The research provided by Dr Maryam and fellow researchers cited that one can correctly put in your four-digit PINs 70 percent of the time in the first guess while the percentage of correct input reaches 100 by the fifth guess.

Further, she claims that while most of the browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari has fixed this issue partially while we will have to hold our horses before her team works on the ultimate solution. Some reports suggests that Apple Safari is still prone to risk of such spy activities even if your device is locked.

Nevertheless, until we get a full proof solution make sure you change your smartphone’s PINs and Passwords more often, Close background apps when not in use, keep your device up to date, install applications only from authentic app stores, give a detailed glance to the app asking permissions etc.

Image Courtesy: The Verge

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