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Google knows every single Android user's WiFi password

By Justin Kahn ยท 34 replies
Sep 16, 2013
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  1. New privacy issues have come to light surrounding Google's Android mobile OS. Experts on the matter are claiming that back up tools in the operating system make it so that a copy of every person's WiFi password (or the password...

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  2. coppersloane

    coppersloane TS Enthusiast Posts: 108   +33

    How long will we put up with Google's constant disregard for our privacy?

    Answer: As long as they keep developing cool gadgets for us to use. When we're finally living in the world of Orwell's 1984, Big Brother won't be to blame -- we will be, for being complacent and stupid; for allowing this abuse and exploitation to go on for as long as it has.
    BabyFaceLee likes this.
  3. gamoniac

    gamoniac TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +102

    I am not sure how this is news, but I am glad you brought it up. I saw this in my newly bought Android 4.0 (ICS) last year and turned it off immediately. I was beyond puzzled that Google weighs convenience over security to such extent.
  4. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,194   +209

    I am pretty sure google wont be outside my house piggybacking my wireless!

    I don't know what evidence could be obtained by knowing someone's wireless WEP/ WEP2/ AES ect key?
    mizkitty and Arris like this.
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,712   +2,507

    You might want to sit down and breathe deeply: http://epic.org/privacy/streetview/
  6. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,160   +1,413

    Except that Google isn't the government. So at least the 1984 universe will be limited to Android users only. :)

    I don't get it. What could the govt possibly want with wi-fi passwords? If they want access to a wi-fi network, wouldn't 'strong-arming' the owners of the network be a lot easier than getting it out of Google's team of lawyers?
  7. It is not news that Google backups up Wifi passwords. It may come as news that these passwords are stored by Google in such a way that they can be retrieved with just a Gmail email and password. That means Google can read the passwords. And again, its not that Google has anything to gain by reading them, but agencies of the government might. When you combine this with huge number of Android devices, hundreds and hundred of millions, you end up with a scary big database of Wifi passwords.
  8. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,194   +209

    Judging by the list of court cases and info in the link you posted, they seem to be collecting more than just wifi passwords. :)
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,944   +3,993

    Or possibly until people develop the genetic ability to shut their mouths, and leave the phone turned off and in their pockets.
  10. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,281   +527

    If you think Google is the only one doing this then prepare to be thunk wrong ;) . I exchanged my Surface RT which had been on my network for a couple of weeks for a Surface Pro and when I logged in at home it knew my wifi password already. It was a bit scary until I figured "who with the power to get to this information cares enough to get on my network?"
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,944   +3,993

    Did you ever click the "remember me" button, or did it just know?
  12. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,281   +527

    Different physical machine and OS (RT vs Win8) - no transfer of settings between devices - logged into the same account.
  13. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,693   +438

    I better change my password to something insulting towards Google, so when they see it, they know whats up! :)
    RenGood08 likes this.
  14. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,465   +634

    do both windows Rt and windows 8 force you to login with an email account?

    I'm sticking to 7 so I don't know.

    It is possible MS has this information stored and that is why it remembered your wifi?

    that is the only thing that makes sense to me
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,944   +3,993

    Well, God hears all your prayers, and by extension, tentatively knows all your passwords.

    The only reasonable conclusion I can draw is, "Google is God....!!!:eek:
  16. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,887   +627

  17. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,281   +527

    I did log into an MS account... but if they store that info then they can get that pw with very little effort.
    ViperSniper2 likes this.
  18. CJ100570

    CJ100570 TS Rookie Posts: 18

    I find it puzzling that this has made into such a big deal when it is in fact not a big deal. Anyone that buys an Android device is offered the "option" of having this info backed up on Google servers. If a user "chooses" to utilize this feature or "chooses" to not uncheck the setting as they setup their phone, how is it somehow the fault of Google? The user "chose" to have the info backed up!
  19. Mac address whitelist on router, you can steal my passwords all day long
  20. highlander84

    highlander84 TS Booster Posts: 108   +30

    Ahhhh so you think if they have only your wifi password they can't look at the mac address and then simply clone it? It's really easy.. Especially when you know an authorized Mac...
  21. Divvet

    Divvet TS Member Posts: 57   +19

    This isnt new! Google has been syncing my wifi passwords across all my devices for as long as I can remember, so of course they have the passwords! But what are they gonna do? Log onto my wifi in London? Don't be stupid.
  22. ok, if you put it that way, then Mr. Evil Hacker will need to either: hack your google account, force you to login to his network, steal either your device or router
    accessing lan data requires another password that is not stored on google server
    is all this hassle worth having someones "free" wifi? I dont think so

    in case of Big Brother its all non essential, BB knows everything you do and ever did and can at any moment come to your home and take w/e it wants
  23. gamoniac

    gamoniac TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +102

    Google database can be compromised. Once Wi-Fi access is compromised, the hackers can sniff your network packets for data in your Wi-Fi transmission.
  24. RenGood08

    RenGood08 TS Booster Posts: 183   +13

    I guess its a good things wifi is turned off on my cellphone. I don't really use wifi. At home, I dont have it, and forget to connect to it at my parents' place.
  25. they can sniff packets w/o google database, wifi is not a secure connection
    the question is: whats easier to hack, google database, or decrypt password you transmit with packets over wifi, or just steal device

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