Feeds

Google tightens its Wallet after PIN reset goof

Now only proper hackers can steal punters' dosh

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Google has started provisioning electronic wallets again having fixed the more trivial security flaw in its product - though determined hackers will still get in.

Google suspended the supply of Wallets after it emerged that simply clearing the application data resulted in the protecting PIN being reset, so now anyone trying to extract pre-paid credit from a stolen handset will have to root the phone and break the encryption on the PIN instead.

But that process shouldn't take more than a few minutes, and was demonstrated by zvelo last week. However, it does require specialist software and a bit of knowledge including the best way to root the handset, so Google's fix will prevent simple theft and the electronic wallet remains a good deal more secure than its physical counterpart.

Google continues to make the rooting process more complicated, and some handsets automatically factory-reset the device on rooting (allowing developers the freedom to install their own low-level code, while protecting data) but in an extended blog post zvelo discusses how vulnerabilities continue to make Google Wallet accessible, and argues that Android's architecture is fundamentally flawed.

Google reckons no one suffered from the temporary weakness in the PIN protection of the Wallet, but that's probably due to the tiny number of punters actually using the product. A thief asking to bonk a Google Wallet-enabled phone on the till would probably attract more attention than he'd like, and nicking a real wallet is still a lot more profitable.

The trivial flaw shouldn't have existed, but Google deserves credit for doing everything it could to forestall, and fix, the problem. More concerning is the damage done to the already marginal public confidence in the security of wireless NFC payment systems. ®

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?