Google knows every Wi-Fi password entered from an Android device
Since it probably went right by most Android users, let's look at two builds. In Android 2.3.4, go to Settings and then Privacy. Om HTC models, Google gets your Wi-Fi password from an option called "Back up my settings," while on a Samsung device the naughty option reads "Back up my data." The unfortunate thing is that nowhere is Wi-Fi mentioned. The description reads "Back up current settings and application data."
In Android 4.2, go to Settings and then Backup and reset. The option is called "Back up my data," and the description for it reads "Back up application data, Wi-Fi passwords, and other settings to Google servers".
If you want your mind boggled, consider that we are not talking about one Wi-Fi network at home. We are talking about every Wi-Fi network your Android phone logged into including the McDonald's down the street, or that Adult Film store that used to be a PhotoHut down the street. While Android users can opt out, all of this information could be turned over to law enforcement officials if Google is compelled to do so.
Did you ever buy a new Android phone, enter your Google account information, and the new phone instantly hooked up with your router? Google can decrypt the stored Wi-Fi passwords with just a Gmail username and password.
It might be too late for your original password, but it is not too late to opt out of Google's storing of your Wi-Fi password. Once you've done that, you should change your Wi-Fi password. And if this whole thing shocks you, you might be a little too trusting of those who hold your wireless life in their hands.
source: Computerworld via RedmondPie
1. AfterShock (Posts: 531; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)
Why worry, are they going to use my bandwidth?
Bte, Your porn shop offers free Wi-Fi, secondly and you use it?
Not everything washed off.
33. criticism (Posts: 45; Member since: 12 Sep 2013)
This is just a sample of what Google is spying from our life! I think it even knows when I usually go to WC and sleep with ...!!!
43. maysider (Posts: 38; Member since: 11 Aug 2013)
Do you think Google needs our password to connect their servers? :)
It's just for us so we don't need to remember that
And worry more about Apple's great vulnerabilities and Windows back doors and NSA
The article is probably paid by Microsoft or US gov who are scared of open source
44. darkkjedii (Posts: 7809; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
This article is about google, not apple or MS. stop trying to deflect the obvious. Google is spying on you.
60. maysider (Posts: 38; Member since: 11 Aug 2013)
Google is spying because I want him to save my Wi-Fi passwords so I don't need to remember that?
What is the reason Google would want the Wi-Fi passwords? Because their connection is expensive so they need ours? :-D
Can you read it? Funny logic you have, right?
Aren't you an Apple user? I bet that :)
71. apple4never (Posts: 379; Member since: 08 May 2013)
how do you suppose a multi billion dollar company cant afford wifi ? second they must have 1 helluva antenna to steal my wifi from canada
66. adk199 (Posts: 23; Member since: 04 Oct 2012)
I don't think it's called spying when I give info to them. They have my credit card # and only God knows what not. It's my decision to give the information or not. If I wouldn't give the info to Google you could call it spying if they tried to obtain the info without my knowledge :-)
You call it spying I call it convenient :-)
Google even remembers my damned password to this site which I wouldn't be able to remember otherwise (or bother)
70. oister85 (Posts: 342; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)
,@ darkkjedii if google want to spy they can we give them permision to do it. There's millions of google users around the word, do you think google has the power to spy all of them NO.
72. GoBears (Posts: 255; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)
Says the notorious Apple fanboy darkjedi. I give them this data to store and restore for me, that's not spying. Oh yeah, all you icloud suckers are storing more than this.
75. darkkjedii (Posts: 7809; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Calm down. Google says you're entering it wrong lol.
79. papss (Posts: 2192; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
Read what he was responding too.. There was a noob saying apple and M$ give to the NSA but conveniently left out google which is false. Works both ways fandroids.
82. darkkjedii (Posts: 7809; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Thanx for enlightening him papss. Fandroids feel google can do no wrong, android "users" actually have eyesight. +1
97. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3279; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
I just feel like all these "privacy invasion" stories are getting out of hand. Just journalists trying to scare readers and to milk more views, regardless of which company they're "exposing".
90. darkkjedii (Posts: 7809; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Yeah my pass code, that's why it's called a pass code...duhhh lol.
110. sprockkets (Posts: 669; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)
Microsoft's Win8 does the same thing with an login account.
50. alterecho (Posts: 465; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
"Do you think Google needs our password to connect their servers? :)"
Do you think you would have asked the same question if Apple had done it? :)
105. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 5180; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)
Just like SIRI taking every word u speak to it sends it directly to Apple servers. I dont see anyone writing bout that nor the iph5s ID finger sensor goes to the NSA.
62. maysider (Posts: 38; Member since: 11 Aug 2013)
Like NSA US gov fascistic spying is a paranoia? :-D
67. Ant34 (Posts: 66; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)
It is. What do you think the government is going to do if it's spying on you?
80. papss (Posts: 2192; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
They do it to google too fanboy. Don't be dumb.
93. volcano (Posts: 198; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)
paranoid when you thought microsoft payed for this article
95. rf1975 (Posts: 221; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)
Do no evil, Because we are here. So you don't need to......
61. designerfx (Posts: 49; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)
actually, the website it comes from is redmondpie.
what company works at remond, hmmmmm? might it be one that wants google to sound bad?
89. tedkord (Posts: 3419; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)
BS. Who didn't know this? How did people think when you sign into your Google account on a new phone or a new rom on the same phone, it magically knows password already?
113. pauloh (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)
What about Apple and Microsoft are they saints? Credit cards companies and banks?
Have you ever bought something and without giving your address or e-mail address started to receive messages or letters about other products from the same family?
A week after my daughter was born I’ve got a box from Nestle with a sample of their formula?
Privacy is dead since the first communication device was invented.
Today our life is as public as the Metro toilet.
You must see the following video:
As I can't publish URLs , please look on Youtube for the following title:
Steven Rambam. Privacy is Dead - Get Over It
58. CellularNinja (Posts: 259; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)
Yeah I really don't think it's a big deal... Oh btw Amazon has your CCN stored on their servers!!! Everybody freak out!
114. SellPhones82 (Posts: 326; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
LOL..I know it! You know what else Google knows? Any and all passwords that you select "Remember my Passwords" when you visit a website. MS and Apple are the same with their options to "remember" website passwords as well as auto-fill info. Not sure why this is a story...I mean how else do I automatically connect connect to my home wifi when I get an new device. Oh Google, Apple, and MS also know all your contact, calendar dates, photos. Can someone also tell me how my son's new iPad automaticlly connected to my home wifi once I logged in to iCloud? Wouldn't that mean Apple is also "stealing" my data? When did I tell them they could remember/store my wifi password? Really though, if this worries you then DO NOT GET A SMARTPHONE! Problem solved and then no one knows your data that no one other than you care about.
96. rf1975 (Posts: 221; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)
They only know what they are going to do with that. But the trueth is Google is one of Evil company out there disguise as genius.
112. b.positive (Posts: 12; Member since: 23 Apr 2012)
No problem... Im connecting to my WI-FI using MAC address (dont have password at all)...
115. jroc74 (Posts: 3462; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Its also amazing that this lil tidbit from the article is getting overlooked and why this is even a story:
"In Android 4.2, go to Settings and then Backup and reset. The option is called "Back up my data," and the description for it reads "Back up application data, Wi-Fi passwords, and other settings to Google servers"."
Btw, that backup option was in Android before 4.2...
Amazing the fear mongering that some ppl do.
2. Genersis (Posts: 135; Member since: 29 May 2013)
Not exactly a shock.
I guess it's vulnerable to hackers, but then so is anything stored in a server, like more notably, payment methods; which most companies with online shops do.
Also, Google doesn't know these Wi-Fi passwords; just like Amazon doesn't know all the card details stored on their servers which their users save.
11. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 4739; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
"Not exactly a shock."
Agreed. If I didn't want my passwords backed up to a Google server, I would have opted out. Personally, I don't put my financial account passwords on my smartphone, so, no chance of getting those compromised. My home WiFi account password is only good if you are in range. My LTE WiFi hot-spot password is only good if you are within, what - 20 feet of my Note 2?
Personally, IMO, the risk is acceptable.
12. buccob (Posts: 734; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
Exactly... Also my Jelly Bean Sony Xperia has a "Back up my data" setting with a full description reading "Back up app data, Wi-Fi passwords, and other settings to Google servers"...
So this is no surprise, at least for me. Actually I'm thankful I don't have to type them all over when restoring my phones...
86. AppleHateBoy (Posts: 189; Member since: 29 Feb 2012)
Hmmmm.... I wonder how much electricity Hoogle wastes in storing those passwords.
3. JMartin22 (Posts: 400; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)
More NSA-style fear mongering. Who cares. This changes nothing in your day-to-day life.
63. designerfx (Posts: 49; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)
its not NSA style fear mongering. It's Microsoft style fear mongering. redmondpie?
81. papss (Posts: 2192; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
Proof? Or are you just trolling as fact again?
4. Dingy_cellar_dweller (Posts: 145; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)
That's the price you pay for convenience.
If you are worried, just don't use Wi-Fi of anything to do with the net. I'll give you a free tip, everything is recorded on the net one way or another.
8. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
That's exactly it, and even going farther, if you never logged onto the internet you'd still be there because of your banking, employment, and a ton of other things that do use the net. Unless you totally live off the grid, things like this will and are going to happen.
5. blingblingthing (Posts: 328; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)
Always had a feeling that group always outside my house stealing Wi-Fi worked for Google.
6. ilia1986 (unregistered)
So? Who cares? Why is this disturbing? It's not like some Google employee will decide one day to come to your neighborhood and use your password to watch some Youtube cats videos.
19. digicon (Posts: 95; Member since: 11 Aug 2011)
Not the Google employee, just 1000 of his closest friends . . .
31. ilia1986 (unregistered)
Absolutely. A google employee violating strict company policy and protocol and risking his job just for his friends to have free wifi.
That makes perfect sense.
34. digicon (Posts: 95; Member since: 11 Aug 2011)
I should have put Sarcasm, on there. They're not his friends. They are the highest bidders. . .
36. criticism (Posts: 45; Member since: 12 Sep 2013)
Think about hackers and Intelligence services that can access to this data!
49. raghu67 (Posts: 19; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)
let hackers and intelligence agencies come n start using my wi-fi.
being a hacker i will get into their machine...
7. jromy (Posts: 102; Member since: 26 Feb 2013)
Slow news day I see. But no, by all means, go and make a big deal out of it.
9. AfterShock (Posts: 531; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)
Get the feeling it's rooted to a finger print scanner story about to break and herald the new god of security?
87. AppleHateBoy (Posts: 189; Member since: 29 Feb 2012)
"Google knows your Google Account password!!!!"
BAM!!! Everybody freaks out...........
10. N.Reynolds (Posts: 232; Member since: 15 Feb 2011)
Cool. I don't care. Is Google going to come to my house for my WiFi? Or any place that I've logged into WiFi. Which is like four places since I have unlimited LTE and have almost no need for WiFi.
45. darkkjedii (Posts: 7809; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Nope they don't need to, they simply get you to give it to them.
76. N.Reynolds (Posts: 232; Member since: 15 Feb 2011)
I'm missing your point? I chose to back it up myself. Why do I care if they have it? P.S. dude your huge. Now stop putting pics of yourself flexing on a tech website.
84. PapaSmurf (Posts: 4229; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Glad to know you have the power to tell people what to do on the site. If I ever need any help, I know who to go to.