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Google locks up cloud apps and throws away the keys

Psst, wanna secure connection? Get a certificate

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Google has introduced certificate-based authentication for developers requiring secure connections to the advertising broker's cloud.

Google Service Accounts - announced today in a post in a blog post - will validate web apps' access to the company's servers with a certificate rather than passwords or shared keys.

This authentication approach for server-to-server interactions makes for better security mainly because they aren't guessable or even human readable. The system is already in place for Google Apps Engine engineers.

Devs can create one of the new service accounts through the Google API Console. The certificate is compliant with OAuth 2.0 specifications and uses unique freshly-generated JSON Web Tokens that it exchanges in return for access tokens.

The certification method is available as a few lines of code in Python, Java and PHP. Service accounts are currently supported by the following Google developer services: Google Cloud Storage; Google Prediction API; Google URL Shortener; Google OAuth 2.0 Authorization Server; Google APIs Console; and Google APIs Client Libraries. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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