According to security experts, criminals are able to use motion sensors embedded in many phones and tablets to ‘listen-in’ on how you use your phone and discover a wealth of private information.
Hackers can also steal valuable personal details such as passwords and PIN numbers just by watching how you hold your phone, researchers said.
Newcastle University researchers concluded after a study that they are capable of analyzing data related to 25 sensors which appear in most smart devices available today including GPS, Cameras and microphones. These details betray users and leave them at potential risk.
Worst case scenario is that there is no way to protect you from the danger. Apps and websites also do not need to ask user’s permission to access sensors, such as GPS, cameras and microphones, meaning they are ripe for hijacking by criminals.
Every time a user touches the screen, it could be a mere tap on the screen or an icon, scrolling through the screen or just holding the device, created a profile which could be tracked. If the user was on a certain webpage, a hacker would be able to use this information to know what they were typing on and what they are typing. In a nutshell, email addresses or passwords could be stolen. To prove the danger, the team utilized the information to crack the four or six – digit PINs used to lock the device.
Dr Mehrnezhad, head researcher, revealed that some browsers were found to open a page on your respective devices which hosts the malicious codes and then open the site you were looking for. This helps them spy on every personal detail you enter. There appears to be nothing that a user can do to avoid it. This is largely due to the technology industry not having a particular standard relating to how sensors are managed on smart devices.