Experts claim it is this easy for hackers to steal your personal information
Hackers could be able to steal valuable personal details such as passwords and PIN numbers just by watching how you hold your phone.
That’s the warning from security experts who have found that malicious websites and apps are able to spy on victims.
Criminals are able to use the motion sensors embedded in many modern phones and tablets in order to “listen in” on how you use your phone, and discover a wealth of private information.
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The shocking news was discovered by researchers at Newcastle University, who analysed data from 25 sensors which appear in most smart devices available today.
This included features such as GPS, cameras, and microphones – all of which helped betray certain details about how the users held their device.
This would allow malicious apps or programmes to “listen in” to your device and potentially leave you at risk.
Worst of all, it seems that there is no way to protect yourself from the danger, meaning millions of users could be hit.
Your smartphone could be betraying a lot of private information
The team, headed up by Dr Maryam Mehrnezhad, a research fellow in the School of Computing Science, were able to gather information from these sensors whilst the device’s keyboard was being used.
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Every time the user touched the screen, whether it was tapping on an icon, scrolling through the screen, or even just holding the device, created a profile which could be tracked.
If the user was on a certain webpage, a hacker would be able to use this information to know what they were typing on and what they were typing, meaning email addresses or passwords could be stolen.
To prove the danger, the team utilised the information to crack the four-digit PINs used to lock the device.
Worryingly, the team was able to gain access with 70 per cent accuracy on the first guess, which rose to 100 per cent by the fifth guess.
Dr Mehrnezhad revealed that, "On some browsers we found that if you open a page on your phone or tablet which hosts one of these malicious codes and then open [another one], then they can spy on every personal detail you enter.
"And worse still, in some cases, unless you close them down completely, they can even spy on you when your phone is locked.
The troubling news for many mobile users is that there appears to be no solution to the issue available at the moment.
This is largely due to the technology industry not having a particular standard relating to how sensors are managed on smart devices.
Apps and websites also do not need to ask users' permission to access sensors, such as GPS, cameras and microphones, meaning they are ripe for hijacking by criminals.