Google will replace Bluetooth Titan Security Keys due to a security flaw

Google warns Bluetooth Titan security keys can be hijacked by nearby hackers

And because of that, Google has issued a recall of the affected Security Keys.

Google said the security flaw allows attackers to take over users' devices and/or log into users' accounts, although the keys should be safe to use under certain conditions.

On Wednesday, Google announced on its security blog that it has found a bug in the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) version of its Titan Security Key that exposes users to a potential attack when pairing the device via Bluetooth. First the attacker has to be within 30 feet of the Titan Key user. If the attacker also knows the victim's username and password and can time the attack properly, then the account could be compromised. One of the features of the Titan Security Key is the ability to pair with devices over Bluetooth LE, as opposed to NFC or USB. The company warned that if you're using the security key's Bluetooth pairing, you should make sure you're in a private place where a potential attacker couldn't be within 30 feet. The attacker can later re-assign this rogue device as a Bluetooth keyboard, which they can later use to run malicious commands to hijack users' devices.

You can request a replacement by heading over to a website Google has set up for this specific issue, and if you're logged into your Google account when you visit it, it'll even automatically check to see if any affected keys are associated with your account.

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If you use an iPhone and have a vulnerable wireless Titan keyfob, it will no longer work once you update to iOS 12.3, so don't log out of your Google account on your iPhone until you get a replacement key.

The news comes nearly a year after a statement by Yubico, (which Google used to buy security keys from before developing its own) questioning the strength of Bluetooth-based security keys.

According to Google, a "misconfiguration in the Titan Security Keys' Bluetooth pairing protocols" allowed an attacker with about 30 feet the ability to communicate with both the security key and the device with which the key was pairing at the moment the key was activated. In this case, the security issue does not affect the device's primary objective.

It's the most robust form of defense against phishing, one of the most common attacks meant to steal your password, giving hackers access to your account and data. In that situation, the attacker can attempt to connect a BLE device to the victim's key before the victim's device connects.

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This episode is unfortunate since, as Broad notes, physical security keys remain the strongest protection now available against phishing and other types of account takeovers. After you've used your key to sign into your Google Account on your device, immediately unpair it. "While Yubico previously initiated development of a BLE security key, and contributed to the BLE U2F standards work, we decided not to launch the product as it does not meet our standards for security, usability and durability".

"After you've used your affected security key to sign into your Google Account, immediately unpair it".

It also affects Feitian BLE security keys.

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