The Gmail app from Google is one of the most common apps on the market. It comes standard on all Android devices, and is available for download on other platforms.
But new research indicates the Gmail app is highly vulnerable to hacking, putting millions of devices at risk.
How easy is it to hack the Gmail app? Researchers have been able to get in with a 92% success rate. But this is not the only app that showed such vulnerability. The researchers were able to steal check images from the Chase Bank app 83% of the time, and social security numbers from H&R Block with a 92% success rate. Even the Amazon app showed vulnerability 48% of the time.
In the case of the Gmail app, the hack starts off as malicious software that is disguised as a wallpaper app for the phone. The program then uses shared memory to see what someone is doing on the phone. Under the right circumstances, a hacker can use this access to take usernames and passwords, even pictures of personal checks.
The three researchers were from the University of Michigan and the University of California, Riverside.
Google has not yet commented about the vulnerability of apps on its operating system.