Hackers have the ability of breaking into just about anything and it was recently revealed that your fingerprint isn’t safe with Android devices that use skin sensors to unlock your phone. Privacy has become an issue with the advancement of technology, but the matter has been brought to attention that it can now be downright dangerous.
Researchers from FireEye, Tao Wei and Yulong Zhang have presented at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas that your phone’s security system may be causing more harm than benefit. It may not be a matter of urgency, since not too many devices use the fingerprinting feature in comparison to the rest of the market, but it’s estimated that a good majority of the population will have fingerprint scanning access to their phones by 2019.
The two researchers have proven that most Android devices are highly vulnerable to what they call “sensor spying attack”, particularly Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One Max, which are high selling products. Hackers can “harvest fingerprints on a large scale”, which will pose the user in danger for possible decades without their knowledge.
It’s a matter in more dire need of a fix than password stealing, as the average password can be easily changed, but fingertips can be used for “malicious means” if fallen into the wrong hands. It can essentially steal an identity, unaware by the user through by-passing the phone’s security system.
The fingerprint data will easily fall into the hacker’s hand, who may use the information for the rest of the victim’s life. It put Android developers as much on the edge as it does the average consumer considering their products, mostly Samsung, HTC and Google devices have been detected with high vulnerability.
On the plus side, every Apple iPhone user may feel reassured that their identity is completely safe. According to the two researchers, while they were able to view the sensor, they could not obtain the crypto key that would’ve enabled them to see the actual fingerprint in Apple products.
They claimed that the iPhone is “quite secure” and Apple fans can rest with the knowledge that their device’s sensor is un-hackable in that sense.
The issue with security weakness within Android devices has since been notified and the developers offered an update to their operating system that will hopefully avoid identity stealing from the phone’s fingerprint sensor. Otherwise, their numbers will surely see a downfall.
Image source: now.avg.com