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Feeling safe with the Pattern lock on your Android phone? Think again! If you feel secure with your Android phone's lock pattern, think again. 

According to a new report from Tech times, a group of researchers from the Lancaster University, Northwest University in China, and the University of Bath found out that Android's pattern lock system can be cracked in just five attempts. 

What's worse? the more complex your pattern, the easier it is to crack. Yes, i kid you not.

The Pattern Lock is one of three security levels on the common Android phone. There's just the swipe screen and also the security code. The Lock Pattern is often described as a mid-level security measure, not too easy to crack but also not the safest.


According to the report, researchers have through the use of a sophisticated algorithm software, been able to crack the code by filming and analyzing fingertip movements and positioning of the device. Researchers used 120 unique patterns that were collected from different users and were able to figure out more than 95% of the patterns in just 5 attempts.

There is general worry that this method of cracking your code would enable thieves to obtain personal information from stolen phones. This algorithm can also be used by attackers across the room inside a busy café or a restaurant.

According to 
Dr. Zheng Wang of Lancaster University "Pattern lock is a very popular protection method for Android devices. As well as for locking their devices, people tend to use complex patterns for important financial transactions such as online banking and shopping because they believe it is a secure system,

"However, our findings suggest that using Pattern Lock to protect sensitive information could actually be very risky."


The group also remarkably found that the more complicated a pattern, the easier it is to crack because they narrow down the possible options. Guixin Ye, a researcher from Northwest University, added that it might even be safer to use shorter, simpler patterns instead of the more complex ones.


So perhaps when next you want to sort security for your Android phone, you can use a pin code instead or if you insist on patterns then at least try hiding it whenever you want to access your phone.








 


President Donald Trump might be disliked in many quarters but it is still a worry that he is reportedly using  an unsecured Android phone to send his tweets, according to The New York Times.

According to a security analyst, Bruce Schneier, this could be a huge issue as he could be bugged if he keeps it up.


"There are security risks here, but they are not the obvious ones," he said.


Schneier is a widely respected cryptography expert. He's a fellow at Harvard Law School, and he's written several books on information security.

Schneier posits that the "bigger risk" from Trump's actions isn't so much that the data on it could be stolen, but that a hacker could compromise the device and turn it into a presidential spying machine.





Schneier continued, "That Android has a microphone, which means that it can be turned into a room bug without anyone's knowledge, 


"That's my real fear."

Schneier added that a forged email could "easily move the stock market," and that by using a consumer device, Trump is "at risk from everybody, ranging from lone hackers to the better-funded intelligence agencies of the world."


While some of the claims may seem a bit far fetched, whistle blowers such as Edward Snowden have claimed that smartphones can be taken over. It might be something President Trump might want to watch out for.




Whatsapp is secure, or at least that's what we thought until a new revelation came to light which showed that the Facebook-owned chat medium has a security backdoor that can allow Mark Zuckerberg's staff to intercept and read encrypted WhatsApp messages.


According to the Guardian, Tobias Boelter, a cryptography and security researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, said that due to the way WhatsApp has implemented its end-to-end encryption protocol, Facebook can intercept and read users’ messages.

This was in an article which went on to explain how Whatsapp works in terms of security. The report said that WhatsApp’s encryption relies on the "generation of unique security keys," which are traded and verified between users to ensure that communications are secure and cannot be intercepted.

READ: HOW TO GET WHATSAPP VIDEO CALL ON YOUR ANDROID

Facebook, it has been revealed, can resend undelivered messages with a new security key, effectively allowing the company to access the 'encrypted' messages without the sender or recipient being aware or able to prevent it from happening. (The sender is alerted after the fact if they have opted into encryption warnings.)

This is of course a big issue in terms of Freedom of speech with the possibility of spying a huge fear here.

According to Boelter, "If WhatsApp is asked by a government agency to disclose its messaging records, it can effectively grant access due to the change in keys," 


The report has been made available to Facebook but nothing has been said yet, so we have no idea what will happen moving forward, but if nothing is done, then one will have to be very careful of their activity on WhatsApp, because you never know who's reading.
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