Fixed Google Authenticator returns to the App Store, restoring accounts


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?

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Share this article:

   Join thousands of others and sign up to our free "GCHQ" newsletter.

Smashing Security podcast
Check out "Smashing Security", the award-winning weekly audio podcast, with Graham Cluley, Carole Theriault, and special guests from the world of information security.

"It's brilliant!" • "Three people having fun in an industry often focused on bad news" • Winner of the Best Security Podcast 2018

Latest episodes:
Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Google Podcasts

, , , , , , ,

One Response

  1. Bill Callahan

    September 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    If you want to see an open source solution for Google Authenticator, take a look at my latest blog entry.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.