Google today pushed an update out for Google Authenticator for iOS, the two-factor authentication companion app that makes your Google account and services where you use it to login more secure. But it’s an update users will want to avoid for now, as it erases all your existing stored data and connected accounts, according to multiple tipsters who’ve contacted TechCrunch.
The Authenticator app works by providing users with a timed, expiring randomly-generated numeric code they use to sign into services along with their password. It adds an extra layer of security, since it’s very difficult for someone attempting to access your account without permission to trump both the authenticator code and the password check.
Updating the app removes all your existing accounts, with users complaining in reviews for the update that they’ve lost their Dropbox, Google Apps, DreamHost, Twilio, Evernote and other tokens after updating and have been forced to sync each over again. It could leave you locked out of your accounts entirely and forced to contact support for a reset, as Dashlane’s co-founder Alexis Fogel tells us is happening with his service, and it’s something that will also result in an awful lot of unnecessary busy work to set up things that have already been set up before.
Chance are Google will roll out a bug-busting update to this update that fixes the account wiping problem sometime soon, so the best course of action for now is to hold off on updating this specific application. For now Dashlane is also advising its users to disable Google Authentication before they update if they still feel they must, but letting that update linger is still the best course of action. We’ve reached out to Google to see if they can provide a fix for anyone who has already updated, or if they have a timeline for when an update fixing the bug might be pushed out to the iOS App Store. We’ll update when we know more.
Update: The app has been pulled from the App Store, while Google works to resolve the problem.