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Your Fingerprints Might Not Have Been Safe With HTC

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Times are tough for HTC. Who would have thought, that a once high-flying smartphone brand would be decimated to the extent, that if you are wish to buy an HTC stock today (which you probably shouldn’t), the company would literally be paying you to take that stock over. Yep, in short, HTC is currently valueless, and to top it all, insecure.

Lets get to the valueless part first. As per Bloomberg, HTC’s market price fell Monday to NT$47 billion ($1.5 billion), below the NT$47.2 billion cash it had at the end of June. That looks scary, doesn’t it ? It actually is. In fact, investors have clearly stated, that the company is currently valueless with only the cash it has in its hand being the sole asset of any fractional value to shareholders.

This one hell of a financial apocalypse (in making for quite some time though) happened when HTC’s stocks plunged down 60% in this year till date, rendering it valueless. So yes, if you have some extra, useless, worthless cash lying there, go invest in HTC and see how a valueless company pays you to take its stock.

Now coming to the insecurity part, which is, in every literal sense — LETHAL !

In a white paper released by FireEye researchers last week, the group of white hat hackers outlined how simple it was to recover the fingerprint image files from an HTC phone, the One Max. In short, any hacker with basic knowledge of data hacking from smartphones, could potentially be carrying (and possibly using) your fingerprints, which you gave away to HTC for that fingerprint lock.

The vulnerability was identified by FireEye researchers in an HTC One Max phone.


In this specific case of HTC One Max, the company saved images of configured fingerprints directly to phone storage at /data/dbgraw.bmp with ‘world-readable’ permissions, meaning any app could steal the user’s fingerprints.

To make matters worse, the fingerprint sensor would renew the image every time you swipe, thus making multiple copies of your prints, and thus in turn making those multiple fingerprint copies available to a potential hacker.

Do note though, that the bug has been fixed once HTC was notified of it. However, owners who might have accidentally got a malicious app lurking around during this period, could be at a massive risk.

However, even though the bug has been fixed, HTC’s stock is looking all set to nosedive even further.

Editor-at-large and co-founder at The Tech Portal. He is a tech enthusiast with interests in new-age technology fields like Ai, Machine Learning, AR/VR, Outer Space and related stuff. Drop him a mail anytime, very reachable.

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