Wednesday, April 26, 2017

SmartPhone Motion Sensors Can be Used to Crack Your PIN

Image Credit:AP
So you thought that the PIN lock present in the modern Smartphones is best way to safeguard your device from others. Apple’s tussle with government authorities where they were unable to unlock the iPhone without the rights set of PIN has also helped in cementing this notion. However a recent study conducted by the cyber security experts at Newcastle University in UK presents a completely different view with facts and figures. Their study has successfully showcased that the hackers can make use of the sensors present in the Smartphones to crack the four digit PIN which will give access to wide amount information.

In their study the researchers found that when a mobile user visits a website then code present on the page can be utilized in accessing the phone’s motion as well as orientation. This allows the hackers to correctly guess the PIN present on the device lockscreen. During this study researchers were able to guess the PIN in the first attempt for 75 percent of the time and in the third attempt for 94 percent of the time. This might be shattering news for a number of die hard users of smartphones but it also helps in showcasing how vulnerable modern devices are.

People are tired of being asked for Passcode

The major reason behind the feasibility of hacking into the device through analyzing the motion and movements of users is very simple. Most of the people are tired of being asked for permission therefore they tend t accept anything present on the website or app while installing or accessing them. Websites usually collects a lot of information about the users in order to bring better users experience but this can be used by the hackers for their own benefit. They can direct the users to such websites which is specifically designed to collect the location data as well as the motion sensors data in order to unlock the device remotely.

Today more number of websites is concerned with collecting the location information by bringing location pop up on the site. Secondly sensors are going to be become more commonplace in near future once people start adopting the smart home and kitchen based electronic products. This study shed light on the way hackers can make use of the motion sensors present on the Smartphones but later on it can be brought to other devices as well to gain access to critical information.

Preventive measures to take

The best way to get over this problem is to make use of highly complex passcodes on the Smartphones. An earlier research has already showcased that the Smartphone users tend to make use of dead easy combination of 1111 and 1234 in 27 percent cases when they have to opportunity pick anything in the 4 digit set. The major reason behind it is that people find it easy to remember and it is highly convenient to unlock the device quickly. Secondly one should always keep the mobile operating system up to date by receiving and installing the latest security and system upgrade patches on regular basis. Thirdly one should always download apps on their device from the trusted sources like App Store, Google Play store and other credible third party stores. And don’t forget to kill the apps after using them.

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