The hackers have found a new way to get into your phone even when you protect it using PINs by spying on the motion sensors present in your device.
According to a team of cyber security researchers from British Newcastle University, it is quite easy for hackers to steal a four-digit PIN by analysing the way you tilt your phone and then the way it moves as you type in your PIN.
To test this theory to be true, they were able to crack a four-digit PINs on the first guess with 70% of the time. What’s even better or worse, is that depending on how you look at it, 100% of PINs were guessed by the fifth attempt.
“Most of the smartphones, tablets and other wearables are now equipped with many sensors, from the well-known GPS, microphone and camera to instruments such as the proximity, gyroscope, NFC, and rotation sensors and accelerometer. But since mobile apps and websites do not need to ask permission to access most of these, malicious programs can secretly ‘listen in’ on your sensor data and use it to discover a very wide range of sensitive information about you like your phone call timing, physical activities and even your touch interactions, passwords and PINs,” explains Dr. Maryam Mehrnezhad, the lead author of the paper.
An even more worrying detail is that, on some of the browsers, it was found that if you open a page on your phone or tablet which hosts malicious code and then open your online banking account without closing the previous tab, criminals can spy on every personal detail you enter.
The vulnerabilities have been shared with tech companies and browser makers. Firefox and Apple have already issued patches for this issue, while Google is looking into the issue for a fix.