The security researchers from an Austrian university have introduced a new method of attacks that could easily allow them to perform cache attacks on non-rooted Android devices which can easily monitor all the keystrokes, screen taps, and can easily steal all the sensitive data from the infected device.

This New Attack Can Monitor Keystrokes, Steal Sensitive Data From Android Devices

The conference Usenix Security Symposium a group of researchers from the Technical University of Graz (Austria) has introduced a new method of attacks on the cache multi-core ARM-processors used in Android devices. The attack is dubbed as ARMAGEDDON, which simply allows the attacker to bypass the protection of ARM TrustZone and intercept keystrokes, screen taps and easily steal all the sensitive data from the infected device.

The attack on processor cache allows extracting pieces of information, which in turn can be used to determine the data being processed. In the past, researchers have also developed numerous ways to carry out such attacks, most of them were sent to the processors with the x86-architecture.

Because the ARM architecture is a relative newcomer to the CPU market, experts have now only to consider the possibility of using old methods to the new platform, implemented in smartphones, tablets and devices from the scope of the IOT (Internet of things).

To track the clicks on the screen, keystrokes (on-screen keyboard) and on-screen taps, processed by the processor, the security researcher used the technique Prime + Probe, Flush + Reload, Evict + Reload and Flush + Flush. In addition, the researchers were able to determine the length of the words entered on the touchscreen.

According to the security experts, the attack can be easily carried out from the user space without any elevated privileges. Hence, to this attack hundreds of millions of Android devices are vulnerable and the security experts stated that defending against these attacks is not an easy thing to do. However, the security team already presented their results to the tech giant Google.