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
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
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest 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.
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Zero Trust doesn't have to break your budget!
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-31476
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on affected installations of Foxit PhantomPDF 10.1.3.37598. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page or open a malicious file. The specific flaw exists within the han...
CVE-2021-31477
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on affected installations of GE Reason RPV311 14A03. Authentication is not required to exploit this vulnerability. The specific flaw exists within the firmware and filesystem of the device. The firmware and filesystem contain hard-...
CVE-2021-32690
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
Helm is a tool for managing Charts (packages of pre-configured Kubernetes resources). In versions of helm prior to 3.6.1, a vulnerability exists where the username and password credentials associated with a Helm repository could be passed on to another domain referenced by that Helm repository. This...
CVE-2021-32691
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
Apollos Apps is an open source platform for launching church-related apps. In Apollos Apps versions prior to 2.20.0, new user registrations are able to access anyone's account by only knowing their basic profile information (name, birthday, gender, etc). This includes all app functionality within th...
CVE-2021-32243
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-16
FOGProject v1.5.9 is affected by a File Upload RCE (Authenticated).