Hackers figure out how to steal info based on your phone tilt - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Hackers figure out how to steal info based on your phone tilt

(WWBT) -

It sounds like something out of a Sci-Fi movie -- hackers figuring out your passwords, PIN and more just from how you hold your phone when you type in the information. 

Cyber researchers at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom say malicious websites and apps can spy on you — and collect sensitive information — using the information from the motion sensors in your smart phone.

Those sensors analyze the movement of the device as you type in information, among other things.

Those researchers use that sensor data to crack four digit PINs with a 70 percent rate of accuracy on just the first guess. By the fifth guess, they had a 100 percent accuracy rate.

Just how real is this threat for the average smart phone user?

"It could download into the browser on your phone, and then as you're moving around, it's interacting with the sensors," said technology expert Dave Hatter. "The average phone has about 25 sensors, so they could figure out again how you're moving, how the phone is moving, and so forth, from what you're doing "

This is all the more reason to be very careful about the apps you download. Make sure you know what you're allowing them to access on your phone, and if they want that sensor data, you need to understand why. Or be wary of the app and steer clear.

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