Hackers Can Steal PINs and Passwords by Exploiting Your Devices Sensors

Just by looking at how are user types and tilt their phone, hackers can theoretically hack into a built-in feature inside smartphones enabling hackers the ability to steal passwords, private identification numbers, and other personal and secure information.

According to Guardian and a new study published in the International Journal of the Information Security, researchers at Newcastle University note that most smart devices today come filled with various sensors. These sensors range from GPS to the sensor that allows for the screen to changed based on how a smartphone user uses their phone. Researchers discovered that malicious websites, hackers, and apps do not need permission to gain access to the sensors and as a result, they are listening to the sensor data stored on your smartphone. However, these sensors may reveal personal information including the passwords you type in the pin numbers you use according to researchers studying mobile technology at Newcastle University.

Essentially, the way a smartphone user navigates through his phone by clicking, scrolling, and tapping on their device provides a “unique orientation and motion trace.” This kind of data allowed for security researchers to figure out what a user is typing on certain websites and mobile applications. Overall, researchers argue that this sort of data is metaphorically a giant jigsaw puzzle. “The more pieces you put together, the easier it is to see the picture,” co-author Siamak Shahandashti explained.

Scientists were able to predict and figure out users four-digit pin numbers approximately 100% of the time after five tries. Researchers involved in the study have since informed Apple and Google of their research results.

The ability to hack phones using just the tilt feature comes after several reports of hacking related incidents. Whether it is foreign governments allegedly meddling with political elections or celebrities whose private and personal photos are leaked en masse to the world, hacking is now becoming a standardReceipt stop day threat to businesses and individuals alike. This report shows that not only is someone’s personal camera able to be hacked but also their passwords and pin numbers.