Security researchers in the US have discovered a method to hack into Gmail on the iOS, Windows and Android operating systems, with a success record exceeding 90 per cent.
Experts based at the University of Michigan and the University of California’s Bourns College of Engineering found a vulnerability thought to reside on each of the operating systems. It is believed that the flaw could enable attackers to acquire user data.
UC Riverside Associate Professor Zhiyun Qian said:
“The assumption has always been that these apps can’t interfere with each other easily.
“We show that assumption is not correct and one app can in fact significantly impact another and result in harmful consequences for the user.”
The experts said that attempts to capitalise on the vulnerability achieved a success rate between 82 per cent and 92 per cent on all but one of seven tested apps. Further apps that were hacked included Amazon, Hotels.com, Chase Bank, WebMD, Newegg, and H&R Block. Those involved in the research said that Amazon’s application was the most difficult to access, achieving a 48 per cent success rate.
If a tech giant such as Google has a flaw in its system, then the risk is even greater with systems operated by SMEs. The research only serves to highlight the importance of closing up any vulnerabilities that could act as a gateway for hackers. SMEs are well advised to post cyber security jobs in a bid to ensure that any potential flaws can be resolved as quickly as possible.
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