Google wants you to upgrade to (its) better two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication has had a bad couple of weeks. Not only was a prominent developer, Justin Williams, forced to defend a phishing attack against him to PayPal and AT&T, but it's becoming increasingly clear that SMS-based two-factory authentication is a new vector for hacking.
As a result, Google is doing something about that: since SMS-based two-factor authentication is more susceptible to phishing attacks — someone could potentially intercept a text message or clone a SIM card, as is what happened with Williams — the company wants people to switch to prompt-based verification:
Basically, prompt-based verification is secure, and cannot be intercepted since it runs through Google Play Services. The only way this could potentially be a security issue is if someone steals a phone that is registered to accepts 2FA prompts from Google, but it's really easy to deregister a device from any web browser should that unfortunate event occur.
Two-factor authentication: Everything you need to know
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Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central.