Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. suffered a data breach, but although the extent of the breach and exactly what was involved is susceptible to speculation, it may be the least of the company’s problems as Wuhan’s coronavirus is out. control in South Korea.
Initial reports suggested that the data breach may have been related to a mysterious push notification received by some users last week, but Samsung claimed that push notifications were unrelated.
“A technical error allowed a limited number of users to access the details of another user,” said Samsung in a note reported by The Register. “As soon as we learned of the incident, we removed the ability to access the store on our website until the problem was resolved.”
The number of users affected remains a mystery. “Small number”, at least as described by Samsung, could mean millions of users as the company is the largest smartphone vendor in the world.
What is clear, however, is that interested people could see the details of other Samsung users when they log into the Samsung store.
A data breach may be the least of Samsung’s problems, however. The company was also forced to close a factory in its native South Korea because of the coronavirus.
The factory in Gumi-si, about 111 miles southeast of Seoul, was shut down after an employee tested positive for the virus. Although Samsung manufactures most of its smartphones in Vietnam and India, the factory is said to be tasked with making the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, the foldable phone launched by Samsung on February 11th.
South Korea is currently experimenting with the community transmission of the virus, formally known as COVID-19. Community transmission is the place where the virus has established itself in the local community and is transmitted among locals, as opposed to infected tourists from mainland China who infect local ones.
Fear that the virus had become established in South Korea caused the collapse of the country’s stock exchange, a contagion that also hit the industrial average of Dow Jones, which plunged over 1,000 points on Monday, its worst day in two years.
Photo: Military health system
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