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List of apps and games that spy on iOS clipboard data

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Most people just take it for granted, but the clipboard is an important operating system feature for text input. Since the clipboard can contain personal data, it is a treasure trove of information.

Alarmingly, an investigation in March found that the iOS clipboard was snooped by a disturbing number of apps, including TikTok, Russia Today, and PUBG Mobile.

For the uninformed, the clipboard is basically a buffer that allows a user to copy and paste data between applications. While useful, it is exploitable.

As discovered by software engineers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk using app developer tools, at least 56 apps (listed below) that had no business or legit purpose of reading the clipboard were doing it anyway. These apps were from various categories, including games, social networking and news.

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Fortunately, work is being done to catch apps that abuse the clipboard. TikTok, for instance, has updated its app after it was caught spying on the clipboard in iOS 14. Apparently, the constant clipboard monitoring was merely for detecting spammy behavior.

To be fair, it’s not just apps from companies with questionable backgrounds and checkered pasts that are guilty of the behavior. Some credible news apps have been found reading your clipboard data as well: New York Times, Reuters and The Economist. 

Nevertheless it is worrying that any app can read clipboard data for undisclosed reasons. Users should be wary of copying passwords, email addresses, and any confidential texts. 

READ: 5 things to remember to keep yourself safe online

News

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

Games

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

Social Networking

  • TikTok
  • Weibo
  • Truecaller
  • Viber
  • Zoosk
  • ToTalk
  • Tok

Other

  • Accuweather
  • Overstock
  • Dazn
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Pigment – Adult Coloring Book
  • Sky Ticket
  • 10% Happier: Meditation
  • AliExpress Shopping App
  • Hotels.com
  • 5-0 Radio Police Scanner
  • Hotel Tonight
  • The Weather Network
  • Recolor Coloring Book to Color

Via: Arstechnica

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