Google distances itself from rooted Wallets

Google distances itself from rooted Wallets

Summary: After recovering from a spate of security hiccups that occurred over the last month, Google has now decided to distance itself from Wallet users who are running a rooted device, according to a new report.

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TOPICS: Google, Security
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After recovering from a spate of security hiccups that occurred over the last month, Google has now decided to distance itself from Wallet users who are running a rooted device, according to a new report.

"Rooting" a handset is the practice of overcoming built-in restrictions put in place by the hardware manufacturer or carrier that gives a user root-permission access to the device. There are many benefits of rooting a device, but it comes with the added risk of potentially giving malicious applications access to the handset, and, in turn, the user's personal information.

Rooted devices running Google Wallet have been demonstrated to be previously susceptible to flaws that can expose the PIN code and re-provision prepaid cards.

Google is now taking steps to ensure that rooted device users know the risks. Droid Life has reported that Google Wallet users who have rooted their handsets will now receive a notification via the application, saying that their actions have made them "unsupported users".

The notification points a user to a help page, which reads:

Unsupported device policy

Some users may disable important security mechanisms in order to gain system-level "root" access to their phone. We strongly discourage doing so if you plan to use Google Wallet. We are unable to support devices with unauthorised operating systems, as the security layers of the device may be limited.

Google has previously warned users about rooting their devices, but the new seems to be an attempt by Google to wash its hands of the problems that come with rooted users' handsets.

Google recommends that Wallet users implement additional security measures on their handsets, like phone-screen locks, to ensure that the product stays safe.

Topics: Google, Security

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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