Fixed Google Authenticator returns to the App Store, restoring accounts

Graham Cluley

Google AuthenticatorGoogle has issued a new version of its two factor authentication app, Google Authenticator, after the previous version wiped out existing account information for iPhone and iPad users.

As I reported last week, the bug left computer users locked out of many online services – ironically by the very tool designed to better protect their online security.

Google Authenticator, version 2.0.1, restores access to the wiped accounts and is available now in the iOS App Store.

Fixed Google Authenticator

The description of the updated app contains a brief mention of the bug.

Google Authenticator

Version 2.0.1

Restores entries that were not displayed due to a bug in version 2.0

No apology, mind you, for the inconvenience caused. How much would that have hurt to include?

Clearly, Google didn’t properly test the iOS version of its app before pushing it to the App Store. Hopefully they have now learnt their lesson, and will be more careful in future. We certainly should be pleased that they have now fixed the issue, but it should never have rolled out to users in the first place.

But this incident raises a bigger issue in my mind. The forthcoming new version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 7, will include the ability to *automatically* update apps without user involvement.

How much worse this bug would have been if iOS users had had the buggy update pushed to their devices, with no option of them to opt out?

One wonders which will be the next popular program to have as serious a bug to make its way into the iOS App Store, and what damage it might do to those who choose to auto-update their apps?

Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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