Facebook went on a whack-a-mole expedition patching a security vulnerability that exposed thousands of WhatsApp users' phone numbers with a fairly simple Google search. The Indian researcher who found this loophole is also crying foul for not being able to receive a bounty for his bug find.
One of the key pieces to our digital identities, whether we like it or not, is our mobile phone number. You likely use it one way or another in a two-factor authentication login (you shouldn't). Thing is, as it's been demonstrated quite a few times, they can be easily hijacked in a few easy steps by malicious actors ringing up carriers' customer service representatives — many of whom are all too understanding in helping users out of what's supposedly a stressful situation. So, just how easy is it to steal someone's phone number on a prepaid network? Researchers at Princeton University say extremely so in a recently published whitepaper draft.
We've seen a few apps and services offer virtual phone numbers before - numbers that aren't tied to a specific SIM card and can be used with an account connection rather than dedicated hardware. It's especially handy for bring-your-own-device situations at work. But T-Mobile seems to be the first major American carrier to embrace the idea with its new DIGITS system. The service allows customers to use any number of, um, numbers tied to their wireless accounts, including disposable numbers that can be added and abandoned with ease.
Most people have been tethered to a single phone number across the span of years and multiple carriers. Maybe you don't want to give that number out to both friends and business acquaintances, though. Flyp is a new app that lets you use multiple numbers on your phone, each of which can be assigned a different purpose.