Two Google Pixel users have reported on Twitter and Reddit that their phones were hacked while they were in Google’s warranty repair. According to the reports, the users had sent their Pixel phones to Google’s official partner store in Texas for repair when they got hacked. They claimed that the hacker had stolen their explicit photos and leaked them online. One user also claimed that a small amount of money was transferred from his account via PayPal and his email account was also accessed.
According to the first report, which reportedly came from Twitter (now deleted), a Pixel user named Jane McGonigal sent her phone to a Texas repair facility via the mail-in option. But she found that her phone was used by someone while warranty repair to log into her Gmail, Drive, and Photos account. She also said that her Dropbox account was also accessed and advised her followers to not send their Pixel phones for warranty repair or replacement. In her words:
“Yeah, don’t send your Google phone in for warranty repair/replacement. As has happened with others, last night someone used it to log in to my Gmail, Drive, photos backup email account, dropbox, and I can see from activity logs they opened a bunch of selfies hoping to find nudes.”
Hacker Leaks Explicit Photos, Transfers Money, and More
The second complaint came from a Reddit post (now deleted) in which a user claimed his Pixel phone was hacked when it was sent for repair at the Texas facility. The users reported that the hacker posted the nudes of his wife and him on his wife’s social media account. Further, the hackers allegedly used her PayPal to send someone $5 and even tried to access her Google account to lock her out.
McGonigal also claimed that her photos were opened by the hacker, which were mostly of her “in bathing suits, sports bras, form-fitting dresses, and of stitches after surgery.” She alleged that the hacker even deleted Google security notifications in her backup email accounts. Not just this, even the settings of her Gmail account were allegedly changed to mark all security messages from Google as spam.
However, Google has issued a statement to The Verge and has said that it is investigating the claim. The tech giant advised users to reset their phones before mailing them in for repair.