Security experts at the University of California Riverside Bourns College of Engineering and the University of Michigan recently announced that they had discovered yet another backdoor into your Gmail account. This time, though, it reflects something that no one could have predicted: "Side memory."
Side memory is basically the information that reveals what state your cellphone is at any given time. If you tap on an email and the onscreen keyboard appears, this information is stored in what's called "side memory."
Other apps installed on your phone don't require any "permissions" to check this. Permissions are what limit specific apps from getting too much information from your phone. Usually, this information is segmented on a need-to-know basis, but "side memory" leaves everyone wide open.
All a hacker has to do to steal your information is to stick an app onto your phone that snoops your "side memory," something that requires minimal permissions either way.
The experts presented their findings at the USENIX Security Symposium in San Diego on Friday of last week, and their results were terrifying.
"The assumption has always been that these apps can't interfere with each other easily," said associate professor at UC Riverside Zhiyun Qian. "We show that assumption is not correct and one app can in fact significantly impact another and result in harmful consequences for the user."
This hack could work on home PCs, Android, iOS devices and Windows Phones. Keep an eye out for more coverage of this issue along with potential fixes.
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