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Sensors built into your phone could reveal your PIN to hackers

Discussion in 'Domain Name News' started by Acorn Newsbot, Jan 30, 2013.

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  1. Acorn Newsbot

    Acorn Newsbot Junior Member

    Jan 2006
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    Having a PIN or pattern is a good way of keeping your phone secure but it seems sensors built into some devices could give clues on the code used.

    Researchers from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania found they were able to analyse the data gathered from the accelerometers which record the movements of the phone to work out where someone tapped on the screen to unlock the device.

    Picking from a set of 50 numbers and shapes, software developed by the team was able to spot pins around 43% of the time and patterns about 73% of the time. The system was less successful though with data gathered while users were on the move.

    Although this research might highlight a potential gap in the security of some devices there are a number of steps that you can take to protect the data on your device. For example, make sure you set a limit on the number of incorrect PIN or pattern entries that can be made before the phone automatically wipes itself.

    One way of checking if you’re in the dark about mobile security is to take our free online test which also gives advice on how else to protect your device.

    There are also some other simple steps you can take:

    • Avoid keeping important or sensitive data on your smartphone or tablet.
    • Try to avoid doing financial transactions or entering passwords on public WiFi.
    • Download and enable an antivirus app for your phone – be sure to check reviews and search for information about the developer first to make sure it’s safe.
    • Make sure your phone is running the latest version of the operating system.
    • Create a strong password (long but memorable) and set your screen lock at a five minute, or less, timeout.
    • Try to check other users' comments and even the developer’s website before downloading an app and be careful what data and services you allow it access to.
    There’s more in our top tips for mobile security.

  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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