Sprint sent letters out to customers informing them someone had breached the company’s servers and stolen user data. The data included phone numbers, billing addresses, names, and more. Oddly, instead of a direct attack, the hack went through Samsung’s website.
Samsung sells phones on its website. To make the process easier, it works with carriers directly to offer financed prices. As you are checking out, you can choose your carrier (Verizon, Sprint, etc.), whether or not to take advantage of any phone deals the companies are offering, and set up activation.
A hacker used this connection between Samsung and Sprint to break into customers’ accounts and stole personal information including phone number, device type, device ID, monthly recurring charges, subscriber ID, account number, account creation date, upgrade eligibility, first and last name, billing address, and add-on services.
What’s unclear is how long the hackers had access or how many customers were affected. Sprint says it was informed of the breach on June 22nd and reset customer pins to secure their accounts three days later. No customer action is needed at this time, but it would be wise to keep an eye on bank accounts, credit card statements, etc. especially if you received a letter from Sprint. [ZDNet]
In Other News:
- Huawei plans extensive layoffs in the United States: The bad news continues for Huawei. The company reportedly plans to layoff U.S. workers, likely as a result of the ban preventing it from selling phones or even working with Android. The number of layoffs is expected to be in the hundreds. [Wall Street Journal]
- Twitter’s redesigned website is rolling out now: Twitter.com might look different today if you’re using it from a desktop browser. The new look sports a coat of fresh dark theme paint, a reorganization of the sidebar and headers for easier navigation, and a multi-paned direct message screen. Twitter says the changes are rolling out to all users now. [TechCrunch]
- Apex Legends will put cheaters in a corner: Like all online games, Apex Legends has a cheating problem. Respawn, the developer behind the game has a solution we can all get behind: quarantine cheaters and have them play against each other. That should make cheating less fun for them and the game more fun for the rest of us. [Engadget]
- RingCentral and Zhumu affected by the same flaws as Zoom: Just when you thought the Zoom saga had come to an end, more bad news rears its ugly head. Two apps, RingCentral and Zhumu, use Zoom software to power video conferencing, and so have the same underlying flaws allowing bad actors to start your webcam without your permission. You should update the apps now if you have them installed. [The Verge]
- Alexa may come to your Windows 10 lock screen: Microsoft released a Windows 10 Insider update that included an interesting new change: users will be able to choose which voice assistant activates with a wake word from the lock screen. Right now, only Amazon offers a PC app, but Google could release one as well. [How-To Geek]
- Microsoft pulled the Windows 10 May 2019 Update from Surface Books: Microsoft put an update block on Windows 10 May 2019 update for Surface Book 2 laptops. Some of the devices with integrated graphics cards stopped detecting that hardware after the update. Given that Microsoft makes the Surface Book 2, it’s surprising the company didn’t catch the issue before release. [TechSpot]
- Fernando Corbato, inventor of the computer password, dies at 93 years old: Dr. Corbato faced a unique challenge during the 1950’s. Multiple people needed to use MIT’s computers, but the machines could only handle one person at a time. Not to be stopped by small limitations, Corbato first created an OS that could handle multiple users by dividing processor time between them. Then he went on to create passwords to keep files private on shared computers. He leaves behind a legacy of privacy and trying hard to remember if your password was Tr0ub4dor&3 or Tr0mb4ne&3. [BBC]
Fifty years ago today, Apollo 11 launched—destination: The Moon.
The successful launch would take three men to space, where two of them would eventually become the first people to step foot on the moon.
It’s a testament to human ingenuity that we could successfully create a giant controlled explosion beneath three people, launch them into a place where humans were not meant to be, and bring them back safely.
Surprisingly, to this day, the Saturn V rocket that Nasa used to launch the men into space is still the largest and most powerful rocket ever built.