Hackers Can Phish Information Through Smart Device Sensors, Cyber Experts Say

First Posted: Apr 11, 2017 05:30 AM EDT

For the first time, there is research that noted of smart device sensors allowing hackers to steal personal information from users' phones. The research indicated that hackers are able to access all the bank details and other data by tilting the phone while holding it.

By the looks of it, the cyber experts at Newcastle University were able to crack the four-digit PINs on a smart device with sensors. As per the experiment, the researchers were able to crack the PIN of the device (a smartphone) by tilting it while the keyboard was displayed on the screen. It did take them five guesses to crack down the passcode but the experiment successfully hacked it, The Guardian cited.

According to Newcastle University's Dr. Maryam Mehrnezhad, most smartphones, wearable and tablets that are used today possess a number of sensors. Surprisingly, manufacturers of such tech are also aware of the issue. However, no solution has been found for now, and the reason is that management of sensors still lacks consistency across the mobile platform.

How Did The Researchers Crack The Code?

As far as the research is concerned, the experts identified 25 types of sensors that were included as a standard feature on most devices. These sensors were programmed to offer various information related to the user and the device. While researching, the experts noted that each user action, which consists of tapping, holding, scrolling and clicking, caused a unique motion orientation on a specific webpage. With its help, the researchers concluded what a user clicked and typed on a webpage, The Telegraph reported.

Dr. Mehrnezhad, the lead researcher in this experiment, further noted that most smartphone sensors do not need permission to be accessed by various phishing sites. This gives them the freedom to track all movements of the sensors, hence acquiring the data needed to access the device's sensitive information such as passwords, PINs, etc. The research team also reported the outcome of the experiment to tech giants like Apple and Google. However, the companies have not come up with a solution for now.

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