Not even smartphones are safe from prying eyes who want to steal valuable information about you. Details like complete name, address, email accounts and passwords, as well as credit card information are vulnerable to theft with their use. Trojans infiltrate these devices through installation of malicious apps and malware, stealing data thereon. In computers, some trojans gather data by recording keystrokes. A similar trojan can now infect your Android phone and pick up personal info by analyzing phone movement.
Before we get you all worried, this trojan we’re speaking about isn’t out in the wild like Flashback or Backdoor. The malicious app called Tap Logger was developed by security researchers at Pennsylvania State University. Behind the project was graduate student Zhi Xu and two researchers who, together showed it off at a conference. According to the team, Tap Logger takes advantage of a security flaw on Android which allows background applications to monitor a device’s sensors. Because of this, the trojan is able to analyze phone vibration and movement to determine the words, numbers, and key combinations being inputted on a phone.
Keeping files encrypted or passwords in secret are no longer enough to keep your information safe in this day and age. And while this has been true with computers for some time now, it’s alarming to know that a similar trojan can and may be used against us on our Android device. Even more alarming is the fact that Google is shrugging it off, saying they’re constantly patrolling Google Play for apps like Tap Logger which abuse permissions that are granted by users. As users, the best thing we could do is remain vigilant of malicious apps that make their way to the Google Play Store and take hours before they are pulled out.