Google Wallet security bug fixed

February 15, 2012

Google recently announced that it has fixed a security flaw in its Google Wallet prepaid card. As The Verge reports:

Google has updated its blog post about the Google Wallet prepaid card security hole, letting us know that it has re-activated provisioning and also put out a fix for the original problem. Last week it was discovered that Google Wallet had a serious security issue that affected all users, in which anybody could clear the app data from Google Wallet, re-open it, and gain access to the prepaid card. In response, Google shut down provisioning for the prepaid cards altogether — until now, that is. Here is Google's updated statement:

Yesterday afternoon, we restored the ability to issue new prepaid cards to the Wallet. In addition, we issued a fix that prevents an existing prepaid card from being re-provisioned to another user. While we’re not aware of any abuse of prepaid cards or the Wallet PIN resulting from these recent reports, we took this step as a precaution to ensure the security of our Wallet customers. If you are unable to access your previous prepaid card balance for any reason, please contact our toll-free support for assistance.

We re-tested the original method for gaining access to the prepaid card, clearing our app data and relaunching Google Wallet. This time around, on attempting to re-provision a card, we were simply met with a error message that "Prepaid is unavailable" and offering two options: "Try Again" and "Remove Card." We're not entirely sure that is an ideal fix, but chances are that if you are dealing with a problematic card, Google would like you to call in for assistance just as you would if you lost an actual credit card.

Google’s Wallet announcement comes on the heels of another one the company made Tuesday — that it just updated its Google+ iPhone app. VentureBeat.com reports:

Slowly, but surely, the Google+ iPhone app is catching up to its more well-equipped Android sibling. Today Google released a new version of the iPhone app that can instantly upload your photos and videos, something that the Android app has had since it launched last year.

Google also announced some minor cosmetic changes to its Circles interface on the web, which will make it easier for you to add and organize your friends on the social network.

Google Maps also received an update. VentureBeat.com reports:

This happens to me all the time: I look up a new place I want to go on Google Maps, look for directions, and walk away from my computer. Hours or days later, when it comes time to actually head out to that new store or restaurant, I have to search again for the place and remember which route I wanted to take. Not exactly the hardiest task, but inconvenient. A small update to Google Maps puts an end to this kind of behavior by saving your most recent directions, Google announced today on its Lat Long Blog.

The update saves your most recent directions in the My Places tab, along with the places where you’ve checked in and starred. You can also access the directions across all the computers that are logged into your Google account. The update is meant for places you may need to reference repeatedly or places you are planning to go to, such as a hotel you’re staying at, or a new restaurant. Instead of searching for the directions repeatedly, Google will remember them.

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