Berlin: Computer scientists have developed a new mobile app to prevent data abuse by digital spies through other applications on your smartphone.
Scientists from the Saarland University, Germany, have developed "SRT AppGuard", a mobile app that determines every application installed on a smartphone, based on their approach such as what it accesses, and shows this information to the user.
The app enables users to revoke or grant privileges to the respective app at any time.
For the protection to work, it is not necessary to identify the suspicious programmes in advance, nor must the operating system be changed. Instead, the freely available app attacks the programme code of the digital spies, reports the platform "Google Play."
"My smartphone knows everything about me, starting with my name, my phone number, my e-mail address, my interests, up to my current location," explains Michael Backes, computer science professor, who manages the Centre for IT-Security, Privacy and Accountability at Saarland, according to a Saarland statement.
"It even knows my friends quite well, as it saves their contact details, too," says Backes.
Therefore, he is not surprised that several mobile applications, also known as apps, display simple functionality up front, while in the background, they send the identification number of the device, the personal whereabouts of the user, or even the contact details of friends, colleagues and customers to a server somewhere on internet.
The producers of anti-virus software have been making vivid predictions of such scenarios for some time now; in the meantime, scientific studies also prove the threat.
A study from the University of California, Santa Barbara (US), concluded that among 825 examined apps for the iPhone and its operating system iOS, 21 percent forward the ID number, four percent the current position, and 0.5 percent even copy the address book.
Michael Backes and his team of researchers now bring this abuse to an end. Their approach focuses on Android. It is the most common operating system for smartphones and tablet computers.
The app runs problem-free on Android 3.x.x and higher. The development of the app has been taken on by the enterprise Backes SRT, which was founded by Backes in 2010.