Feeds

Fandroids at pranksters' mercy: Android remote password reset now live

Google says 'don't be evil', but it never said we couldn't be mischievous

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Android users can now lock their handsets from afar as Google enables what looks like the perfect feature for office pranksters.

Making a lost Android handset ring and wiping all the data on a stolen device have been standard features in the advertising giant's mobile operating system for a while. Now, however, a mislaid Android handset can have a new password set remotely for when one's phone temporarily falls into the wrong hands.

This device password-reset feature must be accessed via Google Play: thus, if you leave a PC or such a machine lying around while logged into the Play store, some wag can sneak over and now kick you out of your gadget. At least it's better than deleting all of your files.

The reset-password-and-lock functionality was widely anticipated, but fan website Android Police noticed that it has this week arrived in the Device Manager available from the Google Play website.

The lock and remote wipe actions only work after they have been enabled in the "Google Settings" app (Android Device Manager > Allow Remote Lock), and one has to be logged into the Google Play account associated with the device before it's possible to activate these features.

But once you're in, the service immediately zooms into the tracked gadget's location and offers all three management options: ring, lock with new password, and erase.

The screen

It's pretty primitive by modern enterprise systems, but enough for the distraught mugging victim who remembers that his passwords for Amazon, Facebook and the office network are all cached in the mobile browser - and thus needs the handset's data deleted pronto.

Remote wipe takes care of that scenario, though, and it's a bit of a struggle to imagine where one would want to remotely change the password of an Android device. If one has forgotten the unlock pattern then it might prove useful – and it's a goldmine for the prankster who comes across a desktop computer left logged into Google. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics
LightwaveRF and Arduino: Bright ideas for dim DIYers
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Apple patent LOCKS drivers out of their OWN PHONES
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you text that
Microsoft signs Motorola to Android patent pact – no, not THAT Motorola
The part that Google never got will play ball with Redmond
Slip your finger in this ring and unlock your backdoor, phone, etc
Take a look at this new NFC jewellery – why, what were you thinking of?
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.