TikTok is Not the Only App Accessing the iOS Clipboard – Here are 53 More Snooping Apps

After the discovery that TikTok, the incredibly popular social media service, was accessing content from iOS users’ clipboards, the company announced it would address the issue. Still, Tiktok is not the only application that engaged in clipboard snooping practices, as more than 53 iOS apps were found to do the same.

The issue was first spotted by researchers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk, but the full extent of the phenomenon was revealed with the launch of iOS 14 developer beta, which notifies users whenever an app accesses the clipboard.

Services found to snoop around the device span a variety of genres, including ‘high-profile’ apps such as the New York Times, Fox News, Reuters, Fruit Ninja, and so on. It is not clear whether the same selection of apps is also guilty of the invasive practice on Android devices as well.

Snooping on iOS Clipboard Data

While most of the data copied to the clipboard is usually inoffensive, an issue appears if a user has copied sensitive personal information, login credentials, cryptocurrency wallet addresses, or any other form of private information.

The problem is also peeved by Apple‘s universal clipboard feature, which has a single clipboard shared between all devices with a common Apple ID that are within a few meters of each other.

The feature is created this way to allow Apple users to easily copy and paste data back and forth between more than one iOS device, but in this state could also facilitate an invasive app installed on one device to read data copied from another.

“Following the beta release of iOS 14 on June 22, users saw notifications while using a number of popular apps,” a TikTok spokesperson said. “For TikTok, this was triggered by a feature designed to identify repetitive, spammy behavior. We have already submitted an updated version of the app to the App Store, removing the anti-spam feature to eliminate any potential confusion. TikTok is committed to protecting users’ privacy and being transparent about how our app works.”

The developers of TikTok, as well as of 10% Happier: Meditation and Hotel Tonight, have promised users to address the issue, but the remaining offenders have yet to stop the invasive practice.

Here is the full list of clipboard-scraping apps:

  • ABC News
  • Al Jazeera English
  • CBC News
  • CBS News
  • CNBC
  • Fox News
  • News Break
  • New York Times
  • NPR
  • ntv Nachricten
  • Reuters
  • Russia Today
  • Stern Nachrichten
  • The Economist
  • The Huffington Post
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Vice News
  • 8 Ball Pool
  • AMAZE!!!
  • Bejeweled
  • Block Puzzle
  • Classic Bejeweled
  • Classic Bejeweled HD
  • FlipTheGun
  • Fruit Ninja
  • Golfmasters
  • Letter Soup
  • Love Nikki
  • My Emma
  • Plants vs. Zombies Heroes
  • Pooking – Billiards City
  • PUBG Mobile
  • Tomb of the Mask
  • Tomb of the Mask: Color
  • Total Party Killer
  • Watermarbling
  • ToTalk
  • Viber
  • Truecaller
  • Weibo
  • Zoosk
  • 10% Happier: Meditation5-0 Radio Police Scanner
  • Accuweather
  • AliExpress Shopping App
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Dazn
  • Hotels.com
  • Hotel Tonight
  • Overstock
  • Pigment – Adult Coloring Book to Color
  • Sky Ticket
  • The Weather Network

Viber has released an announcement commenting on the finding, later on, saying: “While the described issue of saving clipboard items exists in other apps, Viber has never used this option since it has a very strong commitment to its users’ privacy. Back in April, when Viber was notified about the potential exploit of this feature, Viber immediately made the necessary changes to block this option altogether.”

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