Google Wallet security bug affects all users, Google says it's working on a fixAlex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
Heads up, Google Wallet users: It seems a security bug has been found with the Wallet app that can allow a person access to your Google prepaid card. The issue arrises when someone gets a hold of your handset and then clicks the "Clear data" button in Google Wallet's app settings. Doing so will then allow the person to setup Google Wallet once again, which includes setting a new PIN and attaching Wallet to a Google Account, and then the Google Wallet prepaid card will be added to that new Wallet account. The problem is that Wallet is tied to the phone itself, so the app will load up the same prepaid card that was used with the previous Wallet account, giving this new person access to your prepaid card and any cash that may be present on it. Google has issued the following statement on the matter:
"We strongly encourage anyone who loses or wants to sell or give away 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."
This is the second Google Wallet-related bug that's cropped up as of late, although the previous one only affected rooted users, while today's flaw can affect anyone whose phone gets lost or stolen. It's good to hear that Google's hard at work on a fix on the bug, but in the mean time it'd probably be wise for those of you using Wallet to keep your phone close and set a good lock screen to prevent unwanted access to your Wallet account or any other part of the device. We'll be sure to pass along more details on the update as we get them. How many of you out there currently have Google Wallet installed on your Android handset?