6

I just received a mostly usual SMS starting with "Your Google verification code is...". Only mostly, however, because:

  1. I definitely didn't attempt a new sign in with Google in the last hour.
  2. I have changed my 2-step auth settings to use an app instead of SMS, though SMS is still a backup option.
  3. The verification code is very long - instead of 6 characters it's about 50 at the very least, and it contains letters, including caps, numbers and a slash - it essentially looks like it's supposed to be used by an application.
  4. This number has not been used before to send me verification codes, although it has the same country code and the same number of digits.

I have checked my recent activity (that link would be your recent activity, actually), and I don't find anything remotely suspicious (does this include failed login attempts, by the way, where the verification code was not entered?).

I'm pretty sure my password is secure and has never been revealed to anyone, nor written down, nor reused on another service, nor entered on a device that does not belong to me. But the first two issues with this supposed login attempt might be a good reason to change it, just in case. However, I've never encountered the verification codes that long, so I'm starting to think it's not an actual login attempt and someone might be just someone having fun with SMS.

Please help me decide if there is a possibility my password was compromised.

P.S. I don't think I'm important/rich enough for anyone to be after my account, especially to a degree where they'll go through the trouble of overcoming two-step auth.

4

I recently got a similar message, "Your Google verification code is" and then an unusually long verification code (much more than the normal six characters you get through 2 factor authentication).

An hour or so before, I had used the Hangouts app and tried to verify my phone number. The first attempt failed, and for unrelated reasons I restarted the phone and then tried again, and succeeded. This made me suspect that it is related to verifying your phone number in Hangouts.

I googled a bit on this, and found the following which seems to confirm that this kind of message is normally not meant to be visible to the user. Instead, it's supposed to be caught by the Hangouts app itself when verifying your number:

Actually, I don't think you were supposed to see that SMS. It sounds as if Hangouts is inexplicably registering the SMS listener at a low priority, such that TextSecure [an alternative messaging app] receives it first.

(from the TextSecure GitHub page)

I suppose the first verification attempt failed because the SMS message was delayed for some reason. Then I tried again, and Google sent a verification code that was received by Hangouts and never displayed to me. Finally the first verification message arrived, much delayed, but then Hangouts was already done with verification, and thus showed it as a normal message.

My guess is that this can happen if the Hangouts verification process fails for some reason, and in that case should be benign. However it's probably prudent to double check your account activity and security settings anyway.

0

My boyfriend got a similar code.

I don't remember there being any dashes in it, but a series of numbers and letters that was probably 30-50 characters.

I asked him about it and he said didn't know what it was for. Well of course i assumed he was lying cause we have had problems in the past with improper internet activity and secret email address. Anyway I have been reasearching this a better part of the afternoon and I have to believe that it has nothing to actually do with Google or a related account.

There is nothing in any of the information related to either Google or its accounts or sister sites that refers to a verification code or security key of that length and character combination. Let me know if you find anything but I do not think it's related. He also recieve the text message yesterday sometime.

protected by Community Oct 12 '15 at 19:06

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.