GhostToken GCP flaw let attackers backdoor Google accounts

Google has addressed a Cloud Platform security vulnerability impacting all users and allowing attackers to backdoor their accounts using malicious OAuth applications installed from the Google Marketplace or third-party providers.

Named GhostToken by Astrix Security, the Israeli cybersecurity startup that found and reported it to Google in June 2022, this security flaw was addressed via a global patch that rolled out in early April 2023.

After being authorized and linked to an OAuth token that gives it access to the Google account, malicious apps could be made invisible by attackers after exploiting this vulnerability.

The vulnerability “Allows attackers to gain permanent and unremovable access to a victim’s Google account by converting an already authorized third-party application into a malicious trojan app, leaving the victim’s personal data exposed forever,” Astrix Security Research Group said.

Google’s patch allows GCP OAuth applications in ‘pending deletion’ states to appear on the ‘Apps with access to your account’ page, allowing users to remove them and protect their accounts from hijack attempts.

Google Pixel flaw allowed recovery of redacted, cropped images.

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