Business, Economics and Jobs

Amazon, Apple tighten security post-hack


The Amazon logo is projected on a screen at a press conference in New York on Sept. 28, 2011.


Emmanuel DUNAND

Amazon and Apple both tightened restrictions after Wired journalist Mat Honan's identity was hugely compromised by hackers, Wired reported today

"NO LONGER CAN CUSTOMERS CHANGE ACCOUNT INFO OVER PHONE," Newser announced, referring to Amazon's response.

Apple, for its part, has instituted a company-wide freeze on phone requests for account password changes, said Wired

Finally, some fallout from Honan's 3,500 word account of the experience, which was published by Wired on Monday. 

Amazon used to let people change their account data over the phone as long as they had a name, email address and postal address, all things often readily available online, possibly leading to more Honan-like events. 

That would not be cool for Amazon, so the company on Tuesday changed the rules and no longer allows customers to adjust account details over the phone, reported Wired

More from GlobalPost: Amazon UK: Kindle e-book sales surpass those of print books

The move comes in response to Honan's widely-read piece, in which he explained how the Amazon loophole allowed hacker Phobia and others to take over his Google and Twitter accounts and clean out his MacBook, iPad and iPhone. (Honan has gotten his Twitter account back and is working with Apple to get his hard drive stuff back, said The Telegraph.)

"We have investigated the reported exploit, and can confirm that the exploit has been closed as of yesterday afternoon," Amazon told CNET today.

Apple has also had to address concerns, because after the hackers had figured out Honan's .Me email address, they simply called Apple to change the account's password -- voila, thanks to the company's ubiquitous iCloud, all the data on the reporter's Apple gadgets was made readily available, said Wired

It was not immediately clear what Apple will do to prevent this from happening again, the freeze presumably a temporary solution as the company looks for a better fix.

One of the hackers involved, a 19-year-old known as "Phobia," told Honan by instant message that he chose his account because he liked his @mat Twitter handle, reported The Telegraph

"Phobia" also claimed the hackers pulled the stunt to highlight security flaws, "so eventually every1 can over come hackers," according to The Telegraph