Homeyoutube TikTok, Fox News, New York Times, Reuters spy on clipboards

TikTok, Fox News, New York Times, Reuters spy on clipboards

TikTok, Fox News, New York Times, Reuters spy on clipboards In March, researchers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk revealed that applications Android and iOS - including the very popular Chinese application TikTok - can automatically read what you copy to the clipboards of your mobile devices.

Anything you have copied like sexy selfies, passwords, bank account details can be found in the possession of third parties. This data is commonly used for advertising and monitoring purposes.

Confidential content copying is possible not only on the local data of a device, but also on nearby devices, as long as the devices share the same Apple ID and are located at a distance of about 10 meters from each other. This is enabled by Apple's single clipboard: one clipboard which allows you to copy content to a device and then paste it into an application running on a separate device.

It is a "very dangerous case," Mysk said Friday after the discovery surfaced. The findings hit the headlines as Apple released the beta version of iOS 14 - a version that activates this feature among iPhone.

Mysk said the ability of applications such as TikTok to read content from nearby devices means that an iPhone app could possibly read sensitive data on the clipboards of other connected iOS devices, whether it's encryption addresses, passwords or email, even if the applications are running on a separate device.

The beta version of iOS 14 - which you can download and install to see this feature - comes with a feature which is specially adapted to highlight this process: that is, a banner warning that appears each time an application reads content from the clipboard.

TikTok clipboards, Fox News clipboards, New York Times clipboards, Reuters clipboards
TikTok, Fox News, New York Times, Reuters spy on clipboards

While there are reasons for some apps to have access to your clipboard, the apps found by Mysk and Bakry such as TikTok have no clear reason to do so. As Mysk characteristically said:

"These apps read clipboards and there's no need to do that. An application that does not have fields for entering text does not have a reason to read such text. "

How many applications do clipboards monitor and how often? Many, and quite often, as discovered by many users who started testing the beta version. A video, released on June 23 and viewed by 118.000 users by Tuesday, June 30, shows that the applications are marked by iOS 14 as they read your content.

The complete list of applications

There are some big names in the list of applications that have this feature. Let's see in detail what they are:

Information applications

  • - ABC News
  • - Al Jazeera English
  • - CBC News
  • - CBS News
  • - CNBC
  • - Fox News
  • - News Break
  • - New York Times
  • - NPR
  • - ntv Nachricten
  • - Reuters
  • - Russia Today
  • - Stern Nachrichten
  • - The Economist
  • - The Huffington Post
  • - The Wall Street Journal
  • - Vice News


  • - 8 Ball Pool
  • - AMAZE !!!
  • - Bejeweled
  • - Block Puzzle
  • - Classic Bejeweled
  • - Classic Bejeweled HD
  • - FlipTheGun
  • - Fruit Ninja
  • - Golfmasters
  • - Letter Soup
  • - Love Nikki
  • - My Emma
  • - Plants vs Zombies Heroes
  • - Pooking - Billiards City
  • - PUBG Mobile
  • - Tomb of the Mask
  • - Tomb of the Mask: Color
  • - Total Party Killer
  • - Watermarbling

Social applications

  • - TikTok
  • - ToTalk
  • - Truecaller
  • - Viber
  • - Weibo
  • - Zoosk

Other applications

  • - 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 to Color
  • - Sky Ticket
  • - The Weather Network

The TikTok was caught on the spot

Η Bytedance, the company that launched TikTok, said the problem was not their fault. Instead, he blamed an old software development kit Google Ads (SDK) to be replaced.

However, while the clipboard warning in iOS 14 made it clear that this feature should be shut down, ByteDance did not stop the invasive practice in April, as promised. Now, the uproar over iOS 14 has gripped the company "on the spot", writes Zak Doffman, as "TikTok is still doing something wrong."

TikTok, Fox News, New York Times, Reuters spy on clipboards

Few things to remember

All of these apps that copy clipboard content are obviously hidden and difficult to locate. The problem underscores the importance of updating iOS 14, and Apple plans to convince researchers to find out.

This does not mean that your security is a given at this time. Apple users will benefit from the TikTok update as soon as it's ready to go public, but until then, keep in mind that the app reads the data of your clipboard.

Android is a completely different matter. Mysk said things are worse on Android than on iOS, as Android APIs are much more relaxed on security issues. For example, Android has allowed apps running in the background to read the clipboard up to version 10, unlike iOS apps, which can only do so when they are active.

Pay attention to what you copy to your mobile device. Unfortunately, as the researchers said, we don't really know what these applications do with our content.

Source: nakedsecurity.sophos.com