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HomeTechTikTok and 50 other iPhone apps ‘spying’ on you, cyber-experts warn

TikTok and 50 other iPhone apps ‘spying’ on you, cyber-experts warn

TikTok and 50 other iPhone apps ‘spying’ on you, cyber-experts warn

TIKTOK has been accused of ‘spying’ on Apple users along with a host of other popular apps.

Reports of this mass snooping started after a new beta iOS 14 feature was created to notify users whenever an app tries to access their clipboard.

TikTok and a host of other apps have been accused of snooping
Alamy

The iOS clipboard is an internal structure that lets you temporarily copy data so you can then paste it into a different location.

Only one piece of data can be stored on the clipboard at any one time.

This may seem fine if the data you’re copying is not that important but if you’re copying bank account details or a password then you probably don’t want other apps accessing this information.

Researchers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk found claimed to find 56 apps accessing data from clipboards for no apparent reason.

The iOS apps accussed of reading users’ clipboard data

All these apps reportedly accessed clipboards with no clear reason for doing so…

  1. ABC News — com.abcnews.ABCNews
  2. Al Jazeera English — ajenglishiphone
  3. CBC News — ca.cbc.CBCNews
  4. CBS News — com.H443NM7F8H.CBSNews
  5. CNBC — com.nbcuni.cnbc.cnbcrtipad
  6. Fox News — com.foxnews.foxnews
  7. News Break — com.particlenews.newsbreak
  8. New York Times — com.nytimes.NYTimes
  9. NPR — org.npr.nprnews
  10. ntv Nachrichten — de.n-tv.n-tvmobil
  11. Reuters — com.thomsonreuters.Reuters
  12. Russia Today — com.rt.RTNewsEnglish
  13. Stern Nachrichten — de.grunerundjahr.sternneu
  14. The Economist — com.economist.lamarr
  15. The Huffington Post — com.huffingtonpost.HuffingtonPost
  16. The Wall Street Journal — com.dowjones.WSJ.ipad
  17. Vice News — com.vice.news.VICE-News
  18. TikTok — com.zhiliaoapp.musically
  19. ToTalk — totalk.gofeiyu.com
  20. Tok — com.SimpleDate.Tok
  21. Truecaller — com.truesoftware.TrueCallerOther
  22. Viber — com.viber
  23. Weibo — com.sina.weibo
  24. Zoosk — com.zoosk.Zoosk
  25. 10% Happier: Meditation —com.changecollective.tenpercenthappier
  26. 5-0 Radio Police Scanner — com.smartestapple.50radiofree
  27. Accuweather — com.yourcompany.TestWithCustomTabs
  28. AliExpress Shopping App — com.alibaba.iAliexpress
  29. Bed Bath & Beyond — com.digby.bedbathbeyond
  30. Dazn — com.dazn.theApp
  31. Hotels.com — com.hotels.HotelsNearMe
  32. Hotel Tonight — com.hoteltonight.prod
  33. Overstock — com.overstock.app
  34. Pigment – Adult Coloring Book — com.pixite.pigment
  35. Recolor Coloring Book to Color — com.sumoing.ReColor
  36. Sky Ticket — de.sky.skyonline
  37. The Weather Network — com.theweathernetwork.weathereyeiphone
  38. 8 Ball Pool™ com.miniclip.8ballpoolmult
  39. AMAZE!!! — com.amaze.game
  40. Bejeweled — com.ea.ios.bejeweledskies
  41. Block Puzzle —Game.BlockPuzzle
  42. Classic Bejeweled — com.popcap.ios.Bej3
  43. Classic Bejeweled HD —com.popcap.ios.Bej3HD
  44. FlipTheGun — com.playgendary.flipgun
  45. Fruit Ninja — com.halfbrick.FruitNinjaLite
  46. Golfmasters — com.playgendary.sportmasterstwo
  47. Letter Soup — com.candywriter.apollo7
  48. Love Nikki — com.elex.nikki
  49. My Emma — com.crazylabs.myemma
  50. Plants vs. Zombies™ Heroes — com.ea.ios.pvzheroes
  51. Pooking – Billiards City — com.pool.club.billiards.city
  52. PUBG Mobile — com.tencent.ig
  53. Tomb of the Mask — com.happymagenta.fromcore
  54. Tomb of the Mask: Color — com.happymagenta.totm2
  55. Total Party Kill — com.adventureislands.totalpartykill
  56. Watermarbling — com.hydro.dipping

10% Happier: Meditation and Hotel Tonight have reportedly stopped this behaviour.

The apps were said to be able to access the clipboards of the device they were being used on and other connected devices.

Mysk told ArsTechnica: “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.

TitTok justified its actions by saying it was only trying to prevent spam.

It later said it would to remove this feature.

There doesn’t seem to be any malicious reasons as to why these apps want to access clipboard data.

However, the researchers pointed out that if there is no reason to access the data then why are they doing it in the first place.

The public version of iOS 14 is not yet available but if it does end up coming with this feature then a lot of apps will be under scrutiny.

TIKTOK: A BRIEF GUIDE TO THE WORLD’S MOST DOWNLOADED APP

TikTok lets users create and share short videos with music and camera effects.

It is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, founded by the entrepreneur Zhang Yiming.

The $75 billion conglomerate acquired the Musical.ly app in 2017 and merged it with TikTok, bringing millions of new users.

It is the world’s most downloaded iPhone app – with nearly 800 million downloads across the globe, according to data from mobile research firm Sensor Tower.

Facebook has taken notice of TikTok’s rising popularity, and launched a competitor app called Lasso in November last year.

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In other news, Android users have been warned to delete a rogue app called SnapTube.

Scammers are using Google Alerts to send out links to malware.

And, Kim Kardashian West has entered an exclusive deal with Spotify to produce and host a new podcast.

Do you use TikTok? Let us know in the comments…

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at tech@the-sun.co.uk

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