Pixel Users Claim Phones Hacked While in Google Warranty Repair, Explicit Photos Stolen

Google Pixel users have reported that their phone was hacked after being sent to an official Google partnered store for repair. Two users who sounded the alarm so far claimed that their candid photos were stolen and leaked. One of them claimed that even a small amount was transferred through Paypal and gained access to his email account. Both of these hijacking cases came to light when users shipped their Pixel phones to a Texas repair facility via the mail-in option. Users could not reset their devices because of the damage and repair people at the facility were accused of exploiting it.

The first complaint came from game designer and writer Jane McGonigal. He has advised his followers Twitter not to send them Google Phone for warranty repair or replacement. McGonigal said his phone was used by someone to log in during repairs Gmail, google drive, google photos backup email account, and even dropbox, Checking his activity log, he said the hacker dug up a bunch of selfies “in hopes of finding him naked.”

McGonigal claims the photos he uncovered were “in a bathing suit, sports bra, form-fitting dress, and post-surgery stitches.” The hacker also reportedly deleted Google security information in his backup email accounts.

The hacker is said to have changed its Gmail setting to mark all Google security messages as spam. In addition, she says that Google support told her that her phone never reached the repair facility, even though FedEx marked her courier as delivered.

Another similar example was reported by a Pixel user reddit, And informed of First by Android Police. This user claims that he sent the Pixel phone to a Texas facility for repair and it was hacked. A Reddit user said that his wife and nude pictures of him were posted on his wife’s social media account. The hackers also tried to access her Google account to lock her down and used her PayPal to send someone $5 (about Rs 450) as a test.

Google has reacted telling The Verge that they are investigating the claim. The company advises users to reset their devices before mailing them in for repair, but in both the cases mentioned above, users said that it was not possible.

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Tasneem Akolawala is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360. His reporting expertise includes smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the tech industry as a whole. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be contacted on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips and releases can be sent to [email protected]

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