• Google Authenticator is the most popular 2FA method used to protect crypto exchange accounts from hackers.
• The new version 4.0 for iOS and Android introduces cloud syncing, meaning verification codes are stored in a user’s Google account.
• Blockchain security firm SlowMist has warned that this could also increase risk of theft and hijacking.
What Is Two-Factor Authentication?
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an important measure Bitcoin and crypto owners can take to protect their exchange accounts from being hacked by providing an extra layer of security when logging in. The most widely used 2FA method is the Google Authenticator app, which requires users to enter a six-digit code generated by the app to gain access to their accounts.
Google Authenticator Update With Cloud Syncing
Google recently released version 4.0 of its Google Authenticator app for iOS and Android with a new feature – cloud syncing. This allows users to sync the one-time codes generated by the app with all their Google accounts and devices so they can be retrieved anytime if the device is lost or stolen. It simplifies the process of recovering these codes without having to use backup codes created when first setting up the app on another device.
Risk Of Theft And Hijacking
Blockchain security firm SlowMist has warned that this update could also increase risk of theft and hijacking due to storing verification codes in user’s Google account making them more vulnerable than before as it means anyone who gains access to this account will be able to retrieve these codes easily without any additional steps or verifications required from them as was previously needed on a different device after losing or stealing your original one used for authentication purposes originally set up with Google Authenticator.
Increased Convenience And Security
Google believes that this update will increase both convenience and security as users no longer have worry about lockout situations if they lose their device or forget their password since they can just retrieve their verification code from any other logged-in device using cloud syncing instead of relying on backup codes created at setup time which was previously needed for recovery purpose in case of such scenarios occuring.
Although convenient, storing verification codes in user’s Google account increases risk of theft and hijacking if someone gains access to it, so it’s important for crypto owners to take necessary precautions like choosing strong passwords, enabling two-step authentication etc., while still taking advantage of increased convenience provided by updates like cloud syncing offered by Google Authenticator 4.0