Touchscreen smudge may reveal your mobile’s password pattern

Beware of those imprints

Beware of those imprints

Trojans and viruses may be soon a security threat of pasts. The smudges, mostly due to the oily residue left behind by fingers on your touchscreen mobile device may help an attacker deduce your password according to a study  by the University of Pennsylvania.

The researchers studied two different Android smartphones, the HTC G1 and the HTC Nexus1, evaluating different photography techniques for discerning a smudge pattern and concluded that the Android users are inadvertently leaving their nine-dot lock patterns in the open, courtesy of their fingers smear on the screen.

“The practice of entering sensitive information via touchscreens needs careful analysis,” said the researchers. “The Android password pattern, in particular, should be strengthened.”They also cautioned that any touchscreen device, including ATMs, voting machines, and PIN entry devices in retail stores, could be susceptible to smudge attacks.

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