Threat Watch

Google Using Lock Screen to Encrypt Android Cloud Backups

Attempting to better secure data, Android’s Backup Services have received a new security feature. Google is giving users the ability to store their app data and settings, which allows for a simple restore when switching to new devices. This stems from Android Pie and takes three simply steps. Your Android device will generate a random secret key that Google does not know, Titan key will then be encrypted using your lock screen PIN/pattern/passcode. This passcode-protected secret key will then securely send a Titan security chip on Google’s servers. “The Titan chip is configured to only release the backup decryption key when presented with a correct claim derived from the user’s passcode,” says Google. If someone fails to enter the passcode correctly a few times, the chip will permanently block the data, preventing brute force attacks. The type of phones that this feature is accessible on has not been released, but it is known that they must be operating on Android’s 9 Pie system.