So yesterday we warned our readers of a security flaw in Samsung’s Galaxy phones series 4-6. That same evening it was clarified that the flaw was in the way the Swype technology software was installed into the Samsung phones and that the danger of being hacked existed when, “the device reboots, and when the keyboard software automatically updates at any random time”. Samsung has stepped up and issued this statement on the situation:
What does this mean for Samsung users? Nothing has really changed. I recommend you keep your wifi off until they issue the patch. The phone will not alert you when the language update is being performed on your phone, hence, because of the large amount of public wifi signals around us 24/7, it could happen at any moment.
And when will the patch be issued? Hopefully soon.
Yesterday we also promised to explain why the carriers – T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, etc, are at fault for this pathetic mess. We drew your attention to the fact that the carriers knew about this “at the start of 2015” when they were warned and patches were issued by Samsung, who had been informed by NowSecure in December 2014. NowSecure also informed the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) and Google’s Android security team about the problem. So everyone knew in a timely manner, issued the patches and said, “Okay carriers, the ball’s in your court. Issue the patch and fix this”.
They dropped the ball, kicked it into the neighbor’s yard and claimed it never even existed.
Doesn’t it make you feel good that this is what you pay upwards of $100s of dollars a month for?
I usually ignore most announced Samsung security flaws. They rarely are enough of a threat to get my attention or that of my networkers. Today that drastically changed when a mobile security researcher with NowSecure blew the whistle on a flaw noticed by Samsung itself way back in December 2014 AND NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE ABOUT IT.
I’ll just quote ABC7.com’s opening line on their online article to get you all up to speed. “A security flaw discovered in Samsung smartphones has left as many as 600 MILLION Galaxy phones at risk of being hacked.”
Don’t have your attention yet? Don’t care because you don’t HAVE a Samsung Galaxy phone? Maybe you don’t have that model and you are breathing a sigh of relief.
One tiny word of advice. DON’T!
I have a Samsung Galaxy Note IV – which, by the way is NOT affected by the security flaw, BUT I am plenty worried for my networkers, my clients, my customers…my HUSBAND who just got his brand new Samsung 5 corporate work phone a month ago.
Six hundred million is a helluva big number, and to put it in even tighter perspective for you – in my smallest networking venue (at which about 15-20 people show up each week) FOUR OF THEM HAVE AN AFFECTED PHONE!
That’s 20-27% of the room in that tiny little group. ONE QUARTER of the room I had to pull aside and give copies of the article and direct how to patch this train-wreck of a customer service disaster the carriers have on their hands.
309 million is THE POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES, by the way. So it is the equivalent to TWO UNITED STATES worth of people that are scrabbling ’round the globe to deal with this mess.
Or, well, it WOULD be if the word got out as fast as the carriers lack of attention to the problem THEY KNEW ABOUT LAST YEAR!
So, enough torch-handling and pitchfork wielding. Right now you need to know what to do if you have a Samsung Galaxy 4, 5 or 6 phone and how to stay safe until your service provider gets off its collective butt and decides to let the world know if they issued the patch yet.
What to do if you or anyone you know is affected:
1. Turn OFF your wi-fi in your settings. The hackers get in through open wifi ports. The carriers say to avoid wifi areas, but that’s like trying to avoid the entire planet. EVERY major chain restaurant, Starbucks, government building, school, company that has a network-run computer system has open wifi broadcasting round the clock – even when they are not open!
2. Disable language updates. This is harder to locate and the best thing to do is take your phone to your carrier and have them do it and/or walk you through it so you know they did it correctly.
3. Call your carrier and find out the status of the update. Don’t be meek. THIS IS YOUR FINANCES AND PERSONAL SECURITY THEY ARE ENDANGERING BY STALLING IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS UPDATE! I cannot emphasize this enough! If they give excuses, claim they never heard of this security breach, promise to get back to you – DON’T BELIEVE THEM AND DO NOT let them blow you off. Ask for their supervisor, email them DAILY – do what it takes to get them to get you off their back and give you an estimated patch implementation date.
These are simple steps that can save your contact list, your bank account access information, your credit card numbers from being taken without your knowledge and consent.
Tomorrow I will detail why this was NOT Swype Key’s or even Samsung’s fault, but the CARRIERS…ALL OF THEM. And I apologize in advance, but you are not going to like the answer. They need to take responsibility for this mess, and believe me, if they know what’s good for them, they will fix this flaw like, YESTERDAY.
In the recent Digg article “Anatomy Of A Fake, Viral Story“, we see a perfect example of a hard-to-believe story going viral and driving massive traffic to websites around the world. Few stories that hit this legendary status are broken down in such a way that you can see exactly how it happened, which is what makes this story fascinating to myself and marketers everywhere.
Most people want their piece to go viral for one or both of two reasons – money and/or fame. Will fake viral stories accomplish this? Is such a story worth the traffic it generates? Let’s explore that.
Money – Is viral traffic interested enough in your fake story to contribute to your bottom line? The majority of viral story seekers are looking for quick entertainment. They are rarely interested in little else the hosting website has to offer them. Sure, they might sign up for updates, but a look at the statistics of whether they actually open and read the emails sent to them reveals the truth; often the emails are deleted and after the third or fourth email, they hit the “unsubscribe” button, or worse, flag it as spam and get your company in trouble with your internet service provider.
Fame – No one likes being lied to and a fake viral story’s job is to look credible to the reader long enough to get them to click. How would someone view your website if they found out that you were peddling fake sensationalism? Would they trust you in the future? Would they trust your products, your customer service or warranties on anything they purchased if you are a retail business? Would they trust your word on anything in the future? Doubtful. We all have experienced how hard it can be to convince someone to buy from us and not our competitors. Starting off with a lie to draw them in is the worst possible strategy imaginable, unless, of course, you are the National Enquirer or Onion.
In the final analysis, it is pretty cut and dried that fake viral stories are responsible for traffic that hits hard and fast, but rarely sticks around. They are off as soon as the next sensational piece hits their radar and won’t even remember you the next day. Hardly the type of loyal customer that anyone in business could benefit from.
Credits: Anatomy of a Fake Viral Story written by Craig Silverman. Read his research project report, “Lies, Damn Lies and Viral Content” for the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University.
Civic Site Design deals only in reliable information from verified sources. If you have a need for such on your website or in your social networking circles, please feel free to contact us at info at civicsitedesign.com (replace the “at” with an @ sign).
In a LinkedIn article today entitled, “Best Advice: Stop Researching Your Customers — and Do Something“, the age-old issue of companies wanting more customers but being unwilling to invest in them is brought to task in the unusual and candid outburst of a research company’s presenter to their client. Why is Big Company spending money year after year on research that tells them the exact same thing year after year and doing nothing with it? Is it because big companies are expected to do research? Probably.
What I liked about this article is how the presenter’s body language screamed, “I don’t want to be here!” and “This is a waste of time!” and someone picked up on that and it led to an answer the writer could not ignore for the sake of her company’s future.
Companies don’t want to hear that a change for the good starts with spending money. After some failed attempts at trying to get their company to act of the research company’s advice, it was clear a process of evolution was needed in delivery of the message. It demonstrates that it really is not in what you say, but how you say it that gets the results.
But it also made me think of something else the writer had not even intended as a message. It is not only detrimental to the customer and their view of the offending company when change for the better is halted by dollar signs, but it is demoralizing to that company’s employees who have to put up with the unhappy customers. And it works both ways. I see this with the company my husband works for. They used to have little perks like birthdays cakes for each employee’s birthday, then it went down to one cake a month and finally there were none. All for sake of saving money. The low morale this engenders in them is picked up by everyone outside the company they get near – the vendors, the customers and the potential customers. No one wins in a scenario like this. Putting money ahead of your clients OR employees needs in every single thing hurts everyone in the end.
I’ve never been a fan of Yelp, the online mega guide to service and quality among businesses, and for the purposes of this article, restaurants, but now they may finally have a use for the greater good, as opposed to just themselves.
As linked to on MSN.com’s news feed today, an article from the website Fastcompany.com cites, “Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report detailed how Yelp reviews are being used by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to find health code violations in New York City”. Software built by Columbia University made short work of sifting through 300,000 review to find leads to repeat offenders by cross-checking multiple reports of diarrhea or vomiting after a meal. Food poisoning bad enough to make one that sick will have a quick turnaround as far as from the time of ingestion to the manifestation of symptoms, so it’s a good bet if 10 people get sick after eating at “Chow’s Kosherama and Squid Shack”, the CDC has ample justification to go in and check out their nasty digs.
As an ongoing experiment, it offers hope to resource-strapped city agencies by leveraging social media to crunch the numbers and get to these rancid restaurants before they cripple their customers with gastrointestinal upset. Let’s hope the experiment goes viral and spreads as fast as word among friends of a cockroach in a kitchen at your local diner.
I had taken a client out to a Mexican restaurant in Woodland Hills yesterday. Normally I like the food and service in this place and everything started out fine, but it went downhill from there within an hour.
It was after the lunch rush and the buffet had been closed. We were sitting in the back and as our meal wore on, the waitress appeared less and less. Now mind you, we were a party of four. We had all ordered full meals and drinks (no alcohol). There was even a lady in a wheelchair with us. You would think someone would be more attentive to us than they were just because of her, but no.
When the waitress didn’t show up for 15 minutes and our disabled friend grew tired, we knew we had to get the bill and leave. With the waitress nowhere in sight, I turned around to scan the place and found that two booths down were SIX waiters and waitresses taking a break. They were all either in the booth or clustered around it, chatting and laughing. I stared a minute or two, hoping one would catch me staring, be embarrassed and come over, but no.
I finally decided to pull out the BIG GUNS. Warning my party of what I was about to do, I turned my chair around and sat there, staring at these employees. Want to take a guess as to how long it took them to finally look over? FIFTEEN MINUTES! Then, what did they do after they caught my eye? They took another FIVE MINUTES to send someone to get our waiter!
What went wrong here? Why will we NEVER return? Let’s review –
1. Our waitress should have come around at regular intervals instead of less and less as our visit wore on. We were a party of four, dropping over $60.00 in food and drinks. You would think she might consider we would leave a nice tip for her if we liked the service.
2. The waitress should have been extra attentive to our party considering we had a disabled person with us.
3. The off-duty employees should have been in a back room during their break time, unseen by patrons of the restaurant.
4. They SHOULD NOT have ignored us under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! If they are on the floor, even if they are on their way TO THE BATHROOM or BREAK, their job is to at least let someone else on shift know if a customer brings a request to their attention!
Grade? Sorry, El Torito, but you get a BIG FAT F!
Have your own customer service horror story? Add it here in the comments. C’mon, give us your worst!