Clipped info from Google Pixel screenshots can be found by bug

Information that users of Google Pixel phones have cut out can, in many cases, be retrieved due to a bug. Google has fixed the vulnerability for many phones, but the bug could still have negative consequences.

Researchers Simon Aaarons and David Buchanan found the bug and have posted an explanation online. The bug, which they call aCropalypse, means that many Pixel phone screenshots where parts have been cropped or blurred out allow part or all of the original image to be reconstructed. The researchers have put a tool online, with which to test it.

Google had rated the bug as ‘high’, because it may leak private data of users. Because some web services apply compression to images themselves, screenshots sent are in many cases impossible to reconstruct. Twitter, among others, compresses images themselves, but Discord did not do that for a long time.

Google has fixed the bug in the March update for many of its Pixel phones. O The bug has been in the system since Android 10 and is due to an error which had been known for several years. It is unknown whether the vulnerability was exploited.