Smudge Attacks

With the proliferation of touchscreens, we’ve all noticed a proliferation of smudges on those screens. You can’t just wipe them on your clothes to clean these screens – it takes a little more than that.

Researchers were wondering if sensitive information could be decoded from these smudges. For example, on Android phone, you don’t type in a password, but swish across the screen in a specific pattern. When people use the phone, it normally touches their face, thereby getting oils on the screen. When you touch or swish across the screen, it could leave marks which can later be enhanced.

More research needs to be done, but you can see from the photo that – at least in this case – deciphering the pattern is relatively easy. So, if you have a touchscreen that you use for sensitive information, just be careful!

[from PCPro]

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