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Google Wallet hacked again; new exploit doesn’t need root access [video]

A new exploit has been discovered that allows unauthorized access to a user’s Google Wallet account with a simple hack that can be performed by anyone in a matter of minutes. A security firm recently exposed a Google Wallet vulnerability that allowed hackers to bypass PIN protection, but the vulnerability is only present on rooted Galaxy Nexus handsets. This new exploit, however, does not require a handset to be rooted, which leaves all Google Wallet users exposed. Read on for more.

As mobile blog The Smartphone Champ explains, the newly exposed security hole allows someone to simply reset a user’s Google Wallet password by clearing the Google Wallet application data from within the phone’s settings menu. A user’s Google Wallet PIN is not required to wipe this data and once the information has been cleared, the handset will prompt the user for a new PIN without first requiring that the old PIN be entered. Anyone who performs this simple procedure will be able to access funds on the original user’s Google prepaid card.

A Google spokesperson acknowledged the vulnerability and gave the following statement to Android and Me: “We strongly encourage anyone who loses or wants to sell their phone to call Google Wallet support toll-free at 855-492-5538 to disable the prepaid card. We are currently working on an automated fix as well that will be available soon. We also advise all Wallet users to set up a screen lock as an additional layer of protection for their phone.”

A video demonstration of the simple hack follows below.

[Via Android and Me]

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Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.