Wear is said to not offer enough for mass adoption, even though its been in the market for over 9 months. I personally have a Gear Live which I purchased 8 months ago, and my experience with it has had its ups and downs throughout my time with it. For the longest time, I was not able to recommend the platform to anyone. Since then, a lot of updates have hit Wear watches, some improving battery life, others changing the...
Google Wallet PIN Vulnerability Discovered
Google Wallet is all over the headlines lately, first with its release on the Verizon network with the Galaxy Nexus and then with its release on the AT&T network with the Samsung Galaxy S II. Sprint and T-Mobile users have even been able to sideload the Google Wallet app on their respective variants of the Nexus S.
The app itself relies on the devices NFC chip to communicate with non-contact payment stations, like Mastercard’s PayPass. Google Wallet stores your credit card information allowing you to make in-store purchases with a swipe of your phone. Since the information on the chip can be accessed without direct contact several security measures were put in place to protect users. A four digit PIN is required to make purchases with the app, adding an additional layer of security. XDA Member and zvelo employee miasma discovered a flaw in the PIN system, allowing retrieval of credit card information. viaForensics, a company specializing in proactive forensic security (software hacking with the goal of reporting flaws and protecting users), also helped to demonstrate the exploit, proving that the process could be repeated on other devices.
Multiple problem areas were identified but the biggest was in the encryption of the PIN. Using SHA256 hex encoding, the PIN is secured in the app data. Knowing the PIN is 4 digits, viaForensics’ calculations show a brute-force would take, at-most, calculating 10,000 SHA256 hashes. This takes little effort and both miasma and Google have been able to compromise the PIN security in private tests.
Rooted users take note; the security flaw can only be exploited on phones with root privileges. Google has acknowledged the flaw and they are working on a fix. In order to preform this attack a hacker would have to have physical access to your phone, so until a fix is published users can assure their safety by keeping their device within reach. As always, for the security of your phone, stay up to date with the latest software. Don’t forget to keep your phone secure with a lockscreen pattern, PIN or password (or face unlock if your device supports it).
To see the exploit in action, check out the video here. The original thread announcing the vulnerabilities can be found here. Google is working with the banks and card companies involved to make Google Wallet more secure and to patch this security flaw, so hopefully we’ll see some updates soon. Until then, keep those NFC enabled phones within reach at all times!
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip!
SlimRoms' website has been experiencing technical difficulties for the last month or so, but it's good to know the team is working hard and is still on top of things. The SlimRoms GitHub repos are getting updated with some major changes showing up. Most notably, some projects are getting a new 5.1 branch: lp5.1! A new, revamped and open source website is also in the works, with a look inspired by material design. We also got a tip about an...
Wireless charging is becoming more and more common as many OEMs are now starting to include this feature in their flagships. There are already dozens of wireless chargers to choose from on the market today, but quality definitely varies. For those of you who charge your devices wirelessly, let us know which charger is your favorite and why.