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.
For Cybersecurity to Be Proactive, Terrains Must Be Mapped
Craig Harber, Chief Technology Officer at Fidelis Cybersecurity,  10/8/2019
How to Think Like a Hacker
Dr. Giovanni Vigna, Chief Technology Officer at Lastline,  10/10/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
2019 Online Malware and Threats
2019 Online Malware and Threats
As cyberattacks become more frequent and more sophisticated, enterprise security teams are under unprecedented pressure to respond. Is your organization ready?
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-17593
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
JIZHICMS 1.5.1 allows admin.php/Admin/adminadd.html CSRF to add an administrator.
CVE-2019-17594
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
There is a heap-based buffer over-read in the _nc_find_entry function in tinfo/comp_hash.c in the terminfo library in ncurses before 6.1-20191012.
CVE-2019-17595
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
There is a heap-based buffer over-read in the fmt_entry function in tinfo/comp_hash.c in the terminfo library in ncurses before 6.1-20191012.
CVE-2019-14823
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
A flaw was found in the "Leaf and Chain" OCSP policy implementation in JSS' CryptoManager versions after 4.4.6, 4.5.3, 4.6.0, where it implicitly trusted the root certificate of a certificate chain. Applications using this policy may not properly verify the chain and could be vulnerable to...
CVE-2019-17592
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
The csv-parse module before 4.4.6 for Node.js is vulnerable to Regular Expression Denial of Service. The __isInt() function contains a malformed regular expression that processes large crafted input very slowly. This is triggered when using the cast option.