Researchers at the University of Michigan and California have found a massive security vulnerability in Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s mail app and announced that Gmail for smartphones can be hacked with a success rate of no less that 92%. The researchers tested many apps during a research for security loopholes and used the shared memory of smartphones in order to break the security. For this, they used apparently simple and commonly used programs like wallpaper apps, online cheque transaction apps and used them to take control of the phone. CNBC’s Josh Lipton reported on this research and explained how hackers can take control of your phone using Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s mail app.

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“Here is how the attack works. The user downloads the seemingly safe app, such as one for background wallpaper on a phone, but the app is actually malicious. Once that app is installed, the hackers can control your operating system without your knowledge or permission, in other words, they basically have taken over your phone. Now there are two keys to the attack to make it work, one, the attack needs to happen at the exact moment the user is logging into the app, two, the attack needs to happen in an inconspicuous way,” said Lipton

Lipton said that users can avoid these attacks on their Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s mail account by not downloading unsafe apps. He said that paid are much safer than free apps and apps made by trusted and famous companies can be relied upon.

Researchers also claimed that, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s mobile app was the most difficult to hack, giving only  a 48% success rate. Other apps which were tested include and H&R Block, Newegg, WebMD and Chase Bank.

Billionaire investor David Tepper is one of the biggest shareholders of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), having approximately 6.3 million shares of the company so far

Disclosure: None

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