AI.type Keyboard App Leaks 31 Million Users' Personal Data

Popular Keyboard App with Tens of Millions of Downloads Leaks Data of Its 31 Million Users

The data breach was discovered by security researchers Kromtech Security Centre and then corroborated by ZDNet. At this point, Kromtech warns that anyone who had ever downloaded and installed ai.type keyboard should consider their data out in the open.

In the blog post, the firm didn't indicate if there was any different information from iOS or Android devices.

No matter what information leaked, if you have ai.type installed on your iOS devices, it would probably be a smart choice to uninstall the keyboard.

AI.type has quite a following on the Play Store. "One flaw is that the default settings of a MongoDB database would allow anyone with an internet connection to browse the databases, download them, or even worst case scenario to even delete the data stored on them". It totaled more than 577 gigabytes in size and contained information including users' full names, a list of applications installed on the phone, email addresses, precise location (including city and country), and how many days users have had the application installed.

The company also promises to "never share your data or learn from password fields", but we saw one table containing more than 8.6 million entries of text that had been entered using the keyboard, which included private and sensitive information, like phone numbers, web search terms, and in some cases concatenated email addresses and corresponding passwords.

"This presents a real danger for cybercriminals who could commit fraud or scams using such detailed information about the user", Diachenko added.

"It raises the question once again if it is really worth it for consumers to submit their data in exchange for free or discounted products or services that gain full access to their devices".

However the boss of Ai.Type, whilst he admitted the breach, said that most of the data was not sensitive.

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The server is owned by Eitan Fitusi, co-founder of AI.type, a customizable and personalizable on-screen keyboard.

"It was a secondary database", he reportedly said of the discovery.

Ai.Type helped itself (once given permission by the user, often without a second thought) to the phone's IMEI number, as well as links to the user's social media pages and profile images, their exact location in real-time, along with every contact stored on their device.

The database has now been shut down and Mr Fitusi said he was "confident" about the company's security.

The database appears to only contain records on the app's Android users.

"One of the biggest problem's now with how mobile programs and applications work is the request for information that the program will have access to while it's on your device", said Mark James, security specialist at ESET. About 10 percent of that data is sent to the server for prediction purposes, but it's not shared with any third party.

A large number of the records also included the phone number and telecom provider of users as well as some specific details of their public Google profile including their dates of birth, genders, profile photos and email addresses.

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