Google investigates why a carrier linked VPN ads to an SMS two-factor code

Google investigates why a carrier linked VPN ads to an SMS two-factor code


Illustration by Maria Chimishkyan

Earlier this week, Australian developer Chris Lacy tweeted about a curious experience while logging into a rarely used Google account. When Google texted his two-factor authentication code, the message popped up along with an ad including a link for VPN services. Considering the downsides of phishing or malware distribution attached to a code that’s specifically intended to keep your account secure, this didn’t go over well.

While Lacy did not name the carrier who delivered the text, Google Identity and Security senior director Mark Risher clarified that the ad didn’t come from his company.

Google’s official statement on the…

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