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Pixel users claim phones jailbroken during Google warranty repair, photos clearly stolen

Google Pixel users reported that their phones were jailbroken after they sent them to an official Google partner store for repair. Two users who have raised the alarm claim their candid photos were stolen and leaked. One of them claimed that a small amount of money was also transferred via PayPal and their email was accessed. Both cases of theft were reported after users mailed their Pixel phone to a Texas repair center. Users were unable to reboot their devices due to damage, and repairmen at the facility were accused of taking advantage of this.

The first complaint came from game designer and author Jane McGonigal. She advised her followers Twitter Do not send your Google phones for warranty repairs or replacements. McGonigal said her phone was used by someone during the renovation to log into her Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos email backup, and even Dropbox. Checking her activity logs, she said the hacker had opened several selfies “hoping to find nudes.”

McGonigal claims that the photographs they uncovered were captured “in bathing suits, sports bras, bodycon dresses and with seams after surgery.” The hacker reportedly even removed Google security notifications from their backup email accounts.

The hacker allegedly changed her Gmail settings to mark all security messages from Google as spam. In addition, she says that Google support informed her that her phone never arrived at the repair shop, although FedEx marked her courier as delivered.

Another similar case was reported by a Pixel user on Reddit, and reported Android Police first. This user claims to have sent a Pixel phone for repair at a Texas factory and it has been jailbroken. A Reddit user reported that nude photos of his wife and him were posted on his wife’s social network. Hackers even tried to access her Google account to block her and used her PayPal to send someone $ 5 (roughly Rs 450) as a test.

Google has replied The Verge said they are investigating the lawsuit. The company advises users to reboot their devices before sending them in for repair, but in both cases mentioned above, users have stated that this is not possible.


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Tasnim Akolavala is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting experience spans smartphones, wearables, apps, social media and the entire tech industry. She reports from Mumbai and writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecommunications sector. Tasnem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to [email protected] More

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