Google defends safety and security of Google Wallet

A few days ago, researchers at the security firm Zvelo found out that the PIN numbers for the Google Wallet mobile payment service could be discovered via a brute force method. However, this will only work on Android-based devices that have been rooted. Today, Google put up a post on its Google Commerce blog to defend the overall safety and security of Google Wallet.

Google's statement starts with its viewpoint that Google Wallet has a number of advantages compared to normal credit or debit cards. At the same time, it does admit that rooted Android devices can disable the system's security features. It adds that the company does "strongly discourage" using Google Wallet on rooted phones. In fact, a person who roots a phone with that feature could end up having all of their Google Wallet data wiped from that Android device.

Google also claims that it takes "concrete action" if it does discover a flaw in Google Wallet. It states:

For example, to address an issue that could have allowed unauthorized use of an existing prepaid card balance if someone recovered a lost phone without a screen lock, tonight we temporarily disabled provisioning of prepaid cards. We took this step as a precaution until we issue a permanent fix soon.

Overall, Google is seeking to reassure users of Google Wallet that their money is safe with its system. It states, " ... you can be confident that the digital wallet you carry provides defenses that plastic and leather simply don’t."

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14 Comments

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google wallet wiped from rooted devices?
I think it's a fair balance between business agreement and customization.
If you customize beyond their control, you're on your own.
Sounds good to me.

I wouldn't and don't trust Google with anything more than my password to their crappy e-mail, and that's it!!

Google's crap is spread so thin, they can't possibly monitor everything as well as it should be.

Have never really cared for Google anyway. It's NOT the greatest invention since the wheel, that's for sure!!

...a person who roots a phone with that feature could end up having all of their Google Wallet data wiped from that Android device....

Alternately, one could interpret this as: "if your phone is 'rooted' we might wipe your data".

How are they going to know if your phone is "rooted"?

Regression_88 said,

Alternately, one could interpret this as: "if your phone is 'rooted' we might wipe your data".

How are they going to know if your phone is "rooted"?

if your running the latest version of android...

Regression_88 said,

Alternately, one could interpret this as: "if your phone is 'rooted' we might wipe your data".

How are they going to know if your phone is "rooted"?

By mining your e-mails about rooting your device.

Aaaaaahhh LOL I'm just poking fun. It's funny because it could be true.

... you can be confident that the digital wallet you carry provides defenses that plastic and leather simply don't."

Just as Google Wallet provides vulnerabilities and new avenues for attack that plastic and leather simple don't.

TCLN Ryster said,

Just as Google Wallet provides vulnerabilities and new avenues for attack that plastic and leather simple don't.
With physical access to a Google Wallet vs vs Rooted Google Wallet vs Leather Wallet, two will fall on their faces... the rooted google wallet, and the leather wallet.

It isn't like your google wallet can be hacked remotely. It still requires physical access, on a device without a lock screen, and is rooted.

TCLN Ryster said,

Just as Google Wallet provides vulnerabilities and new avenues for attack that plastic and leather simple don't.

lose you wallet and see which is secure!!!!
at least wallet security flaw can be fixed by a software update...
lets lose ur wallet again after the software update and see which is secure.

still1 said,

lose you wallet and see which is secure!!!!
at least wallet security flaw can be fixed by a software update...
lets lose ur wallet again after the software update and see which is secure.

Meh. I could care less if my wallet were to be stolen. All I carry is my Credit Cards and those have 100% fraud protection anyway. So my wallet is already secure.