Possible security threat coming to a touch-enabled device near you

A new type of innovative malware can record smartphone and tablet touch swipes, along with taking screenshots of how users interact with their device.

Published Tue, Jan 28 2014 1:55 PM CST   |   Updated Sat, Aug 8 2020 10:29 AM CDT

A new proof-of-concept malware targeting touchscreen devices shows a potential security threat in which user finger swipes could be used to see exactly how consumers interact with their devices, according to security firm Trustwave.

Possible security threat coming to a touch-enabled device near you |

Specifically, the malware is able to log the X and Y coordinates of touch swipes on a device, along with capturing screenshots to help record touch coordinates. The proof-of-concept also allows the cyber criminal to only capture screenshots when a user enters a specific app, and a full demonstration and disclosure will be made at the RSA security conference next month.

"The more interesting thing is, if you get a screenshot and then overlay the touch events, you're looking at a screenshot of what the user is seeing, combined with dots, sequentially, where the user is touching the screen," according to Neal Hindocha, Trustwave senior security consultant.

It seems if this security threat hit the wild, it would be used against specific targeted users and companies, and won't end up becoming a widespread threat to the average smartphone or tablet user.


An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog,, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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