If you’re going to try to revolutionize the way we pay for things, you have to reassure us that your new way is safe. Last week, Google Wallet stumbled a bit in this regard.
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A website called Smartphone Champ first reported the vulnerability. It turned out that anyone could get access to your Google Wallet by going into your phone, clearing the data, and setting up a new PIN. “[T]hey’d be able to add your card and have full access to your funds... All a person needs to be able to do this is access to your phone and within 1-2 minutes they will have complete access to your Google Wallet account,” wrote the post’s author. A video went up demonstrating how it was done.
To Google’s credit, the company moved swiftly, first by temporarily disabling the provisioning of prepaid cards. “We took this step as a precaution until we issue a permanent fix soon,” Google’s Osama Bedier wrote at the time. Google also set up a toll-free number for anyone who might have lost their phone or had reason to believe someone was making unauthorized transactions.
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