Be Careful What You Copy, These Apps Are Scanning Your iPhone’s Clipboard

TikTok iPhone App Store Credit: XanderSt / Shutterstock

Think the clipboard is a safe place to store information? Think again. Security researchers at Mysk last month unveiled how easily apps can access the clipboard contents and what they can do with this data.

Some apps ignore this data, but many apps, including top-rated apps, take a peek at the clipboard even when they don’t have to.

A follow-up report lists 50 of these apps, including controversial apps like TikTok, that can read this data without a user’s knowledge.

We all know the easiest way to move information from one app to another is the clipboard. Sure, you could try to remember that text snippet, but why tax your brain when the clipboard is there to help you. Because the clipboard is a middleman, all apps have access to its data.

Developers Tommy Mysk and Talal Haj Bakry used Xcode and Xcode Command line to track the behavior of apps.

They discovered many apps (see the full list on the next page) read the clipboard contents when they open, including news apps like ABC News, weather apps like The Weather Network, shopping apps like Hotel Tonight and games such as Fruit Ninja and Bejeweled.

Though none of the apps tested thus far use this information for nefarious purposes, the fact that they read it so frequently is a bit unsettling.

Admittedly, most clipboard information is insignificant, but people occasionally copy their passwords or credit card numbers.

Theoretically, an app could scan the clipboard contents and steal this information. This vulnerability isn’t limited only to open apps either. Mysk also showed that apps could access the clipboard in Today View and the universal clipboard to spy on text copied on a connected Mac.

Some apps ignore this data, but many apps, including top-rated apps, take a peek at the clipboard even when they don’t have to.

See the full list of apps on the next page.

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