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Security

Some of Verizon’s Visible cell network customers say they’ve been hacked

Update October 13th, 1:10PM ET: Visible has confirmed that some accounts were accessed without authorization. Read more in our follow-up article. Our original story follows below.

Some customers of Verizon’s Visible service are using social media to say that hackers have accessed their accounts, changed their information to lock them out, and in some cases even ordered phones using their payment info (via XDA). If you’re not familiar, Visible is a cell service owned and operated by Verizon that pitches itself as a less expensive, “all-digital” network, meaning there aren’t any physical stores like you’d get with a traditional carrier. Starting on Monday, customers on both Twitter and Reddit reported en masse that they’d been getting emails from the company about changed passwords and addresses, and that they’ve had difficulties contacting the company’s chat support.

Visible’s customer service account on Twitter seemingly hasn’t addressed the issue, besides directing upset customers to its DMs. A user marked as a Visible employee on the subreddit posted a statement on Monday afternoon, saying that a “small number” of accounts were affected, but that the company didn’t believe its systems had been breached. The statement did recommend that users change their passwords, but as many commenters pointed out (and as I can confirm), the password reset system currently isn’t working. Verizon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Verge.

I’m a Visible customer myself (I switched from T-Mobile for reasons unrelated to its recent massive data breach, but am very thrilled to possibly have been double-owned) and so far my account doesn’t seem to be compromised. I’m able to log in online and make sure my order history doesn’t have anything untoward, and opening the app is working like normal (though I received a few errors earlier in the day). I haven’t received any emails, texts, or other communications from the company regarding this situation.

The error message I received earlier trying to log into the app.

Without much official word from the company, it’s hard to say exactly how the reported breaches happened, and what any potential hackers have access to — though we’ll keep you updated if we hear back. With many security breaches, the advice is to change your password and make sure you have two-factor authentication turned on, but Visible currently doesn’t support 2FA. Hopefully, incidents like this where some customers are seeing $1,000-plus charges on their credit cards from Visible may make that feature a higher priority.



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Categories
Tech News

Motorola one 5G UW ace now Verizon’s cheapest entry to 5G

Verizon just added the Motorola one 5G UW ace to their collection as their most affordable entry point into 5G connectivity. This device is made to be the least expensive way for any Verizon user to drop in on 5G (with Ultra Wideband connectivity) and Verizon Adaptive Sound. It’s also a pretty decent phone for $300 (or around $12.50 a month for two years).

Motorola revealed iterations of this device earlier this year, with devices like the Motorola one 5G Ace – alongside the 2021 collection of Moto G phones. This version of the device is slightly different as it has Verizon’s UW (ultra wideband) 5G enabled, and has access to Verizon’s sound feature called Verizon Adaptive Sound.

We’ve yet to test this tech out, so take that into consideration when we describe it, here. Verizon suggests that Verizon Adaptive Sound is a software and cloud-based solution that delivers you a “brilliant spatial surround experience” with sound on any piece of content and through whatever device you’re listening to sound with.

Verizon Adaptive Sound will “automatically optimize the content for your listening device” and allows manual controls for treble, bass, spatial, voice, and etcetera. Verizon Adaptive Sound can be found in your device’s settings under Sound.

Above you’ll see a video created by Verizon to show what this Verizon Adaptive Sound tech is all about, specific to this Motorola one 5G UW ace. Verizon suggests that this smartphone will be the first to use this tech, but it COULD be sent to older smartphones via software update in the future.

The Motorola one 5G UW ace will be available from Verizon this week for approximately $12.50 per month for 24 months with “Verizon Device Payment”. All totaled, that approximately $300 retail. If you are signing up with Verizon for the first time and sign up with a Premium Unlimited Plan, you can get this smartphone “for free.”

As is generally the case, the phone’s price is still effectively spread out over the course of 24 months. If you decide to leave the plan before the 2 year period is over, the remainder of the price of the phone will almost certainly be due.

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Categories
Tech News

Verizon’s $40 unlimited Visible service lifts its 5Mbps speed cap to welcome the Google Pixel 3a

Verizon’s Visible phone service is a great option for people who don’t want to spend a bundle on their bill every month, but its $40-a-month unlimited hook has always come with a catch: Data speeds are capped at 5Mbps, which is painfully slow when trying to streams videos or games on the go.

Beginning today, Visible is lifting that cap for a limited time. It’s not clear exactly how long the promotion will last—Visible says the offering will be determined “as we learn more about member needs”—but both new and current members can take advantage of it. Visible says new members need only restart their phones to take advantage of the uncapped speeds.

Visible has also announced that the Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL will be joining its network, which already includes the iPhone (6 and later), Pixel 3 and 3 XL, Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, and the ZTE-made Visible R2. Additionally, Visible said Google’s phones will be available for purchase through the carrier’s site in the coming weeks.

For more information about the service and current offers, visit www.visible.com.

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Categories
Tech News

Verizon’s $50 Yahoo phone is a rebranded ZTE Blade A3 with lots of pre-installed apps

No, you didn’t wake up in 1999. But the next time you take a trip to a Verizon store, you’re going to see a new phone on shelves alongside the iPhone 12 and Pixel 5 that might seem like you traveled back in time.

As part of the new Yahoo Mobile MVNO that launched back in March, Verizon is selling a new Yahoo phone for $50 with a very-90s purple back and a very-late-2000s mindset. It’s the first smartphone slapped with Yahoo’s branding and as expected, it’s loaded with Yahoo apps.

First the specs:

  • Dimensions: 137.4 x 67.5 x 10.5 mm
  • Display: 5.45-inch 720HD LCD
  • Processor: Mediatek Helio A22 MT6761
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 2,660mAh

So yeah, you shouldn’t expect to do much with this phone. It’s not clear how skinned the Android 10-based OS is, but Yahoo says it has “an easy-to-use interface providing a user-friendly experience.” But it also says the phone will “deliver a smooth performance and longevity,” so we should probably take that with a grain of salt.

We asked Yahoo if there were any plans to update the Yahoo phone to Android 11 but have yet to hear back.

One thing the Yahoo phone will deliver, however, is extra apps. Verizon is leaning into the Yahoo branding big time and loading up your phone with tons of apps that we assume can’t be deleted, including Yahoo Mail, Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Weather, and Yahoo Mobile.

Speaking of Yahoo Mobile, the phone is exclusive to the MVNO, which offers unlimited data on Verizon’s 4G network for $40 a month.

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