Home » Uncategorized » Passwords can be forensically lifted off touchscreen phones
smudge-insecure

Passwords can be forensically lifted off touchscreen phones

Password protecting your mobile phone is quite a common act, you have private data, so you want to protect it. Unfortunately, it seems that the touchscreens on phones could effectively present a security risk.

This comes out of a University of Pennsylvania report (PDF link), saying that smartphone touchscreens have a problem that non-touchscreens don’t. You see, you leave behind just enough residue from your fingerprints on the screen that could then be “easily lifted and analyzed by would-be attackers.”

Lifting fingerprints is just the beginning. You’d think that would only come up under a cSI-like situation, but run of the mill scanners and digital cameras can capture enough evidence for a would-be hacker to reconstruct. The smudges you leave behind are “surprisingly persistent in time” and that even wiping or pocketing the device would not remove all traces.

The net result? The study found that they could find the fingerprints left behind on Android devices and identify the password pattern left on the phone. That “security code” of yours? Not so secure anymore.

Our solution? Change your password frequently to create a wider range of smudges on your touchscreen.

Touchscreens on phones a security risk, researchers say [MobileBurn]

About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

Check Also

wii-oculus-rift-hoverboard

Try Oculus Rift And Wii To Roam Around On The Back To The Future Hoverboard

Check out how you can fly in virtual space by using an Oculus Rift and a Wii Balance Board.

131129-amz

Amazon Appstore for Android Holiday Deals, Including Free Apps

There are tons of deals from the Amazon Appstore that will be offered starting now and throughout the holiday shopping season. They say that they will have "hundreds of titles that are eitehr free... or available between 50-90% off" the regular price.

131129-google

Black Friday: Google Play Store Apps, Games and Content on Sale All Weekend

Case in point, if you head over to the Google Play Store right now, you'll find that Google is celebrating all Cyber Weekend with discounts on all sorts of content. This includes many popular apps and games

131129-gtab

Black Friday Deal: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-Inch for $100 Off

Did you manage to score any epic Black Friday deals this morning? Are you still ...

131128-diy

Arduino Co-Creator Releases Plans for $200 DIY Mobile Phone

Mellis was one of the people who came up with the now hugely popular Arduino platform and now he has come up with plans for people to build their own cell phone for about $200 in parts.

131128-apple

No Discounts for Apple Black Friday, Just Free Gift Cards

If you were hoping to save yourself some cash as you brave the Black Friday shopping crowds, you'll want to go somewhere other than the official Apple Stores.

  • Kev

    Good idea for an app their i think (blow my own horn and al that)

  • Kev

    How about a keyboard espicially made for entering passwords? The idea being that u load the keyboard when entering a password .heres the good bit.the keyboard randomly displays different combinations of letters,either in the form of a jumbled up qwerty keyboard.or a standard keyboard,for example,instead of the number 2 having abc it cud have mdp and instead of the keyboard reading qwertyioup it cud read wdagdmpmg ,