A new research has revealed some troubling information about several popular smartphone apps that are covertly taking screenshots of users’ activity. More specifically, researchers from Northeastern University in the US analysed over 17,000 of the most popular apps on the Android operating system, with the help of an automated test program developed by students. Out of all the analyzed apps, 9,000 apps were found to have the potential to take screenshots.
Thousand of Popular Android Apps Can Share Your PII with Third Parties
This data is then shared with third parties, a disturbing fact that puts in jeopardy users’ personally identifiable information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers, among other details.
The latter are exposed since the screenshots taken by the invasive apps could expose practically every bit of information stored on a mobile device. “We found that thousands of popular apps have the ability to record your screen and anything you type,” explained David Choffnes, a professor at Northeastern University in the US and member of the team behind this latest research. Anything the user types may include the user’s username and password for various accounts since the screen can record the characters typed before they turn into black dots.
But why did the researchers decide to look into these popular apps in the first place? The study is meant to investigate a “persistent urban legend” that smartphones are secretly spying on us, recording conversations and selling the information to marketing companies. This all may sound like a conspiracy theory but the truth is as disturbing as it gets. In David Choffnes’s own words, the team “knew we were looking for a needle in a haystack, and we were (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from How to, Technology and PC Security Forum authored by Milena Dimitrova. Read the original post at: https://sensorstechforum.com/thousands-android-apps-take-screenshots/