Last Updated on 09/12/2021 by Nidhi Khandelwal
Someone allegedly stole and hacked game designer and author Jane McGonigal’s Pixel 5a after she sent it to Google for repair.
This is at least the second report in as many weeks from someone who claims to have sent a Google phone in for repair only to have it used to expose personal information and photos.
On Saturday, McGonigal revealed the problem on Twitter, advising other users not to take their phones in for repair with the company.
McGonigal submitted her shattered phone to a Pixel repair center in Texas in October. She then tweeted that Google had never received the phone, and she was charged for a replacement device in the weeks that followed.
“THEY OPENED PHOTOS OF ME IN BATHING SUITS, SPORTS BRAS, FORM-FITTING DRESSES, AND STITCHES AFTER SURGERY.”
According to FedEx tracking information, the device arrived at the facility weeks ago, according to McGonigal. Someone appears to have used the “lost” phone late Friday night, a few hours after she claims she finally received a refund for the device, to complete two-factor authentication checks and log in to many of her accounts, including Dropbox, Gmail, and Google Drive.
Several email security alerts were sent to McGonigal’s backup accounts as a result of the activity. She believes, however, that whoever owns the phone may have accessed her backup email accounts and then filtered any security alerts into her spam folder.
McGonigal writes, “The images they opened were of me in beach suits, sports bras, form-fitting gowns, and sutures after surgery.” “They erased my backup email accounts’ Google security notifications.”
Initially, Google spokesperson Alex Moriconi told The Verge that the firm was looking into the matter, but it now looks that the investigation is over. ” can confidently say that the issue affecting the user was not related to the device RMA [Return Merchandise Authorization],” Moriconi said after a comprehensive study. ” worked extensively with the user to better understand what happened and how to keep the account secure in the future.”