Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

4/10/2019
02:00 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Android Phones Now Double as Physical Security Keys

Google debuted a series of security updates at Next 2019, giving users the option to use their phone as a second authentication factor.

Android smartphones running version 7.0 (Nougat) or later now work as physical security keys for two-factor authentication when logging into personal Google accounts and G Suite, Google Cloud Platform, and other Google apps used in and out of the office, Google announced today.

This means security-savvy Android phone users don't have to purchase a physical key to strengthen their account protection. Google already offers the Titan Security Key, a FIDO-standard device typically used for high-value users or content, which works as a second factor for Google logins. A secure hardware chip is designed to protect against firmware attacks.

Of course, Google already offers several methods of two-factor authentication: SMS verification codes, the Google Authenticator app, and Google Prompts. But two-factor verification options vary in their security, and each has its holes. For example, an attacker could target a specific user and intercept a code sent via text message, granting them access to someone's account.

Hardware keys are considered the strongest option of two-factor authentication, with protocols based on standard public key cryptography to block account takeover attempts. Most everyday users don't go out of their way to buy them. However, if the key is built into a device they already have, it could stand a chance at overcoming the convenience hurdle impeding growth.

The Android-based security key, which also uses the FIDO protocol, requires a user to sign in on a Bluetooth-enabled Chrome OS, macOS X, or Windows 10 device with a Chrome browser.

How to set it up: Once you have an updated Android phone and Bluetooth-enabled computer with an updated Chrome browser and OS, add the key to your Google account. Turn on 2-Step verification and add a method like Google Prompts (if you don't use it already). Go to myaccount.google.com/security. Under "Signing in to Google" select "2-Step Verification." Scroll to choose a second step and click Add Security Key > Your Android phone > Turn on.

Once that's complete, make sure your computer has Bluetooth turned on and go to sign into your Google Account. Your phone should alert you with a notification to confirm it's you.

The hardware security key is currently in beta mode and only works for Google applications.

Related Content:

 

 

 

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two cybersecurity summits at Interop 2019. Learn from the industry's most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the Interop agenda here.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
niajax
50%
50%
niajax,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/19/2019 | 1:42:49 AM
Wait is over for Physical Security Keys
Hi Kelly,

It's great to know about Androdi Phones with Physical Security Keys. Google keeps updating the latest features to make Android more user-friendly & especially for Security.

This Physical Security Keys update with Android Security Keys will be one of the best updates for security. Many Android users will be happy with this update.

I will update my Android and will use this Physical Security Keys feature as the set it up instruction is already shared by you, Kelly.
The Problem with Proprietary Testing: NSS Labs vs. CrowdStrike
Brian Monkman, Executive Director at NetSecOPEN,  7/19/2019
How Attackers Infiltrate the Supply Chain & What to Do About It
Shay Nahari, Head of Red-Team Services at CyberArk,  7/16/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-10102
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-22
The Linux Foundation ONOS 1.15.0 and ealier is affected by: Improper Input Validation. The impact is: The attacker can remotely execute any commands by sending malicious http request to the controller. The component is: Method runJavaCompiler in YangLiveCompilerManager.java. The attack vector is: ne...
CVE-2019-10102
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-22
Frog CMS 1.1 is affected by: Cross Site Scripting (XSS). The impact is: Cookie stealing, Alert pop-up on page, Redirecting to another phishing site, Executing browser exploits. The component is: Snippets.
CVE-2019-10102
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-22
Ilias 5.3 before 5.3.12; 5.2 before 5.2.21 is affected by: Cross Site Scripting (XSS) - CWE-79 Type 2: Stored XSS (or Persistent). The impact is: Execute code in the victim's browser. The component is: Assessment / TestQuestionPool. The attack vector is: Cloze Test Text gap (attacker) / Corrections ...
CVE-2019-9959
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-22
The JPXStream::init function in Poppler 0.78.0 and earlier doesn't check for negative values of stream length, leading to an Integer Overflow, thereby making it possible to allocate a large memory chunk on the heap, with a size controlled by an attacker, as demonstrated by pdftocairo.
CVE-2019-4236
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-22
A IBM Spectrum Protect 7.l client backup or archive operation running for an HP-UX VxFS object is silently skipping Access Control List (ACL) entries from backup or archive if there are more than twelve ACL entries associated with the object in total. As a result, it could allow a local attacker to ...