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PayPal patches a two-factor authentication security flaw

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August 18, 2016

Earlier today, PayPal said it has patched a two-factor authentication security flaw that could have let an attacker bypass its login processes.

Discovered by Vulnerability Labs' Shawar Khan, the security issue existed in how PayPal's API implemented the “PayPal Preview” portal.

The good news is that it was an exploit that needed access to the victim's browser, so this may have helped a little somewhat.

Nevertheless, PayPal has issued a fix documented in its advisory:

  • 1. Open PayPal UK Login Portal in a new tab (keep it open)
  • 2. On the other tab, open PayPal Preview Login Portal
  • 3. Login to your account in the URL which is opened in step 2
  • 4. Enter credentials in the new window which appears
  • 5. Refresh the page which was opened in step 1
  • 6. After you're logged, click on view account button which will lead you to your account and the 2 step verification will be bypassed
  • Said another way-- if a user has logged in via the preview portal and leaves the browser open, an attacker opening the main login portal would reach the victim's account without triggering the two-step authentication process.

    Source: PayPal.

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