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  4. Apart from TikTok, 53 more apps found spying on iOS users by accessing clipboard data: Know which ones

Apart from TikTok, 53 more apps found spying on iOS users by accessing clipboard data: Know which ones

Several iOS apps have been accessing users' clipboard data and spying on them. Know which apps are they

India TV Tech Desk India TV Tech Desk
New Delhi Published on: June 29, 2020 13:13 IST
tiktok, pubg mobile, pubg, apps spying on ios users, ios, ios 14, ios clipboard, security, cybersecu
Image Source : PIXABAY

iPhone 5

Recently, TikTok was found spying on users' clipboard data on iOS, thanks to the new iOS 14 feature introduced. While TikTok released an official statement suggesting it will stop doing so, there still are more apps that access the data iOS users have copied to their clipboards, arising several privacy and security issues. Read on to know what all apps are involved in this.

More iOS apps snooping on users' data

Security researchers Tommy Mysk and Talal Haj Bakry, back in March published a report suggesting that there are popular iOS and iPad apps that access users' data copied to the clipboard without their permission. Following the new iOS 14 catching TikTok red-handed, the report has now come to light again, giving us an inkling that the practice is continuing to take place by other apps as well.

These iOS and iPad apps fall in various categories such as gaming, news, social media, and more can read the data stored on the clipboards of an iPhone or an iPad each time the apps are opened. The data can include passwords, bitcoin addresses, account numbers, and any other personal information. 

It is further suggested that in case a user has multiple Apple devices, the clipboard and the Apple ID remain the same for the all the devices, meaning that the data can be accessed via any of the devices. Mysk, in an interview to Ars Technica, said, "It’s very, very dangerous. These apps are reading clipboards, and there’s no reason to do this. An app that doesn't have a text field to enter text has no reason to read clipboard text."

What's surprising is that the list of apps spying on iOS users are pretty popular names (such as PUBG Mobile, Fox News, Viber, 8 Ball Pool, and more) and access text data copied in the clipboard when they don't even need anything text-based. Additionally, the apps accessed only text data and not the pictures or PDF. Here is a list of the other 53 apps that are still spying on iOS users:

  • PUBG Mobile
  • 8 Ball Pool
  • Fruit Ninja
  • Truecaller
  • Viber
  • Fox News
  • New York Times
  • AMAZE!!!
  • Bejeweled
  • Block Puzzle 
  • Classic Bejeweled 
  • Classic Bejeweled HD 
  • FlipTheGun
  • Golfmasters 
  • Letter Soup 
  • Love Nikki 
  • My Emma 
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • Pooking – Billiards City
  • Tomb of the Mask 
  • Tomb of the Mask: Color
  • Total Party Kill 
  • Watermarbling 
  • ToTok
  • Tok
  • Weibo
  • Zoosk
  • 10% Happier: Meditation 
  • 5-0 Radio Police Scanner 
  • Accuweather 
  • AliExpress Shopping App 
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Dazn 
  • Hotels.com 
  • Hotel Tonight
  • Overstock 
  • Pigment – Adult Coloring Book 
  • Recolor Coloring Book to Color 
  • Sky Ticket 
  • The Weather Network 
  • ABC News
  • Al Jazeera English 
  • CBC News 
  • CBS News 
  • CNBC 
  • News Break
  • NPR 
  • ntv Nachrichten 
  • Reuters 
  • Russia Today 
  • Stern Nachrichten 
  • The Economist 
  • The Huffington Post 
  • The Wall Street Journal 
  • Vice News 

To recall, TikTok has suggested that it accesses users' clipboard data due to its anti-spam feature and has submitted an updated version of the app to stop reading the clipboard. Even 10% Happier and Hotel Tonight have suggested they will stop accessing the clipboard data. However, there is no word when the other apps mentioned in the aforementioned list will stop the practice so that users don't have to worry about their security.

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