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CNET Update: Hack attack: Apps can spy on other apps

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CNET Update: Hack attack: Apps can spy on other apps

2:54 /

Researchers reveal a flaw in Android, iOS and Windows that lets hackers peer into Gmail, Chase and other apps. Also, Norton reduces its software line to one product, and Pebble gets score alerts with the ESPN app.

It's time to worry about your apps spying on other apps. I'm Bridget Carey, and this is your CNET update. [MUSIC] Every other day there's a new report on hacking we have to worry about. This time, the concern comes from the smartphone apps that you trust. Security researchers have found a flaw in Android, IOS and Windows phone operating systems where malicious apps can run in the background and spy on the information stored in other popular apps, like Gmail, Chase Bank, and H & R Block. Here's how it happens. You download what appears to be a harmless app, like maybe it's a wallpaper app. But it's actually running a program in the background that taps into the phone's shared memory and records what you're doing, and what you're typing in real time. In a video on YouTube, researchers showed how a bad app can steal the username and password. From an H&R block app and even steal the social security number that you type in to check your tax return. With Chase, when you take a picture of a check, the hacker can get a copy of that photo of the check. These bad apps don't require special permissions to be able to see the shared memory. That's why this is so dangerous. Facebook asks for way more permissions than these hacking apps, so think twice before downloading a pointless app. It could be masquerading as something malicious and it could be hard to spot. And when it comes to downloading apps, it turns out most of us don't download apps often. ComScore mobile app report says that in an average month. 65% of smart phone users don't download a single app. It's not that people don't spend time on apps. People just aren't often hunting for a new one. The report says 42% of all app time is spent on your one favorite app. Meanwhile, in the world of anti-virus software. Symantec is trying to make things less complicated. Next month, on September 23rd the company will release one product under one brand. Norton Security. It will replace Norton Antivirus, Norton Internet Security, Norton 360, Norton 360 Multi-Device, and Norton 360 Premier Edition. Yeah, nice to have it under one thing now, and it will protect up to five devices including, Windows, Mac iOS, and Android. The company is selling Norton in a subscription service, and if you run into a problem that Norton can't protect, there is a money back guarantee. And there are two updates in the world of wearable gadgets. ESPN now has an app for the Pebble smartwatch that will pop up a game score alert on your wrist. And there's also an app update with fitness tracking watch hybrid Misfit Shine, which I'm wearing now inside of a necklace. You can also wear on your wrist. Misfit now seeks data with a my fitness pal app. That's your tech news update. You can always find more @cnet.com. From our studios in New York. I'm Bridget Carey. [MUSIC]

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