Live Updates: COVID-19 Cases
  • World 18,490,441
    Confirmed: 18,490,441
    Active: 6,074,019
    Recovered: 11,717,899
    Death: 698,523
  • USA 4,865,523
    Confirmed: 4,865,523
    Active: 2,257,992
    Recovered: 2,448,515
    Death: 159,016
  • Brazil 2,751,665
    Confirmed: 2,751,665
    Active: 744,644
    Recovered: 1,912,319
    Death: 94,702
  • India 1,865,947
    Confirmed: 1,865,947
    Active: 588,981
    Recovered: 1,237,885
    Death: 39,081
  • Russia 861,423
    Confirmed: 861,423
    Active: 185,601
    Recovered: 661,471
    Death: 14,351
  • South Africa 516,862
    South Africa
    Confirmed: 516,862
    Active: 150,286
    Recovered: 358,037
    Death: 8,539
  • Mexico 443,813
    Confirmed: 443,813
    Active: 100,124
    Recovered: 295,677
    Death: 48,012
  • Peru 433,100
    Confirmed: 433,100
    Active: 115,198
    Recovered: 298,091
    Death: 19,811
  • Chile 361,493
    Confirmed: 361,493
    Active: 17,810
    Recovered: 333,976
    Death: 9,707
  • Spain 344,134
    Confirmed: 344,134
    Active: 315,662
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 28,472
  • Iran 314,786
    Confirmed: 314,786
    Active: 24,634
    Recovered: 272,535
    Death: 17,617
  • UK 305,623
    Confirmed: 305,623
    Active: 259,413
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 46,210
  • Saudi Arabia 281,456
    Saudi Arabia
    Confirmed: 281,456
    Active: 34,759
    Recovered: 243,713
    Death: 2,984
  • Pakistan 280,461
    Confirmed: 280,461
    Active: 25,065
    Recovered: 249,397
    Death: 5,999
  • Italy 248,229
    Confirmed: 248,229
    Active: 12,474
    Recovered: 200,589
    Death: 35,166
  • Bangladesh 244,020
    Confirmed: 244,020
    Active: 100,926
    Recovered: 139,860
    Death: 3,234
  • Turkey 233,851
    Confirmed: 233,851
    Active: 10,607
    Recovered: 217,497
    Death: 5,747
  • Germany 212,331
    Confirmed: 212,331
    Active: 8,399
    Recovered: 194,700
    Death: 9,232
  • France 191,295
    Confirmed: 191,295
    Active: 79,501
    Recovered: 81,500
    Death: 30,294
  • Canada 117,031
    Confirmed: 117,031
    Active: 6,487
    Recovered: 101,597
    Death: 8,947
  • China 84,464
    Confirmed: 84,464
    Active: 800
    Recovered: 79,030
    Death: 4,634
  • Netherlands 55,955
    Confirmed: 55,955
    Active: 49,805
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 6,150
  • Australia 18,730
    Confirmed: 18,730
    Active: 7,876
    Recovered: 10,622
    Death: 232
  • S. Korea 14,423
    S. Korea
    Confirmed: 14,423
    Active: 770
    Recovered: 13,352
    Death: 301
  • New Zealand 1,567
    New Zealand
    Confirmed: 1,567
    Active: 22
    Recovered: 1,523
    Death: 22

Researchers discovered new smartphone password security breach in Android OS

Author at TechGenyz Insights
Smartphone Password Security Breach

The security is an issue that concerns us all. Companies have taken great pains to make our mobile devices more and more hermetic, allowing us to move our privacy away from other people’s eyes through passwords, patterns, PINs, fingerprints, iris and facial scanner. However, these measures are not perfect and far from guaranteeing total security, and a recent study demonstrates this. If you are someone who uses a PIN, keep reading, because you are not protected.

A study carried out by the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) of Singapore has discovered a new and huge security breach that hackers can exploit to guess your PIN. How? Using the sensors that almost all Android devices have: accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, proximity sensor, barometer and ambient light sensor.

With the information obtained from these six different sensors and a sort of machine learning and deep learning algorithms, NTU researchers have managed to unlock any Android smartphone protected with a PIN with a 99.5% success rate. In only three attempts, enough so that the device does not lock and that’s just testing with the 50 most common PIN numbers.

To date, the best results in cracking of smartphones had been a 74% accuracy with the 50 most commonly used PIN. The technique developed by the NTU can be used to guess and work in each and every one of the 10,000 possible combinations that they can be done with four digits. The study, led by Dr. Shivam Bhasin, Senior Research Scientist at NTU’s Temasek Laboratories, used the data obtained from the above-mentioned sensors to guess what numbers had been clicked by the user, based on the phone’s tilt and how much light was blocked by the fingers when pressing said buttons.

When you hold your phone and enter the PIN, the way in which the phone moves when you press 1, 5 or 9 is different. So, pressing button 1 with your right thumb blocks more light than when you press button 9. – Dr. Bhasin, project researcher

The classification algorithm they developed was trained with data obtained from three people who entered a set of 70 four-digit PIN codes in a random way while collecting information from the sensors. The algorithms gave a given importance to each sensor depending on how sensitive it was according to the number being pressed, which helped to eliminate false positives and increase the success rate.

It is not the first time that we find vulnerabilities in the sensors. Recently it was discovered that using information of public access crossed with the data of the sensors of our smartphone could geolocate us with a lot of ease. Both this research and this concludes that it is necessary for applications to request permission to access these components.

Finally, Dr. Bashin states that users who have a PIN should try to make it more than four digits as much as possible or use other authentication methods, such as passwords, fingerprints or face recognition. What is clear is that it seems that we are not as safe as we think, and something as simple as the light that covers our thumb at the press of a button can reveal our password and provide access to all our data.