Samsung cops to data leak after unsolicited '1/1' Find my Mobile push notification

Tight-lipped chaebol still won't talk about the dodgy app, though


Updated Samsung has admitted that what it calls a "small number" of users could indeed read other people's personal data following last week's unexplained Find my Mobile notification.

Several Register readers wrote in to tell us that, after last Thursday's mystery push notification, they found strangers' personal data displayed to them.

Many readers, assuming Samsung had been hacked, logged into its website to change their passwords. Now the company has admitted that a data security breach did occur.

A spokeswoman told The Register: "A technical error resulted in a small number of users being able to access the details of another user. As soon as we became of aware of the incident, we removed the ability to log in to the store on our website until the issue was fixed."

She added: "We will be contacting those affected by the issue with further details."

From the not-insignificant number of emails El Reg received about the website snafu, it remains to be seen whether Samsung's definition of "small number" is the same as that of the rest of the world.

Of potentially greater concern is the mystery 1/1 push notification from Find my Mobile, a baked-in app on stock Samsung Android distributions. Although the firm brushed off the worldwide notification as something to do with unspecified internal testing, many of those who wrote to El Reg said they had disabled the app. Stock apps cannot be uninstalled unless one effectively wipes the phone and installs a new operating system – unlocking the bootloader and reformatting with a new third-party, customised ROM.

Samsung did not answer our questions as to how a "disabled" app was able to receive and display push notifications. Nor did it say what other functions this "disabled" app was capable of executing. ®

Updated to add

A Samsung rep later told us, referring to the data breach on its UK customer account pages: "Less than 150 customers were affected, and we are contacting them directly."

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading
  • Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation
    Study claims Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft work to derail data rules

    Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but behind the scenes they've been working through some common organizations to weaken or kill privacy legislation in US states.

    That's according to a report this week from news non-profit The Markup, which said the corporations hire lobbyists from the same few groups and law firms to defang or drown state privacy bills.

    The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

    Continue reading
  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022