Verizon glitch fix is a bitch

Monday, 28 July 2003, 1:48 PM EST

Verizon Wireless on Friday fixed a glitch that for months let anyone go to its text-messaging website and retrieve lists of customers' cell-phone numbers and private text messages.

The software bug was discovered three months ago by ThreeZee Technology, a security research company in Bridgeton, New Jersey. The company said it tried to notify Verizon when it first discovered the glitch and even spoke with company representatives, but the bug remained. Verizon didn't fix the glitch until Wired News called for comment.

The glitch exposed the information like this: An exploiter would send a text message to the cell phone of a Verizon customer through Verizon's website. The site would then send a confirmation back. The confirmation message included a unique identification code. By altering one or two letters of that code and typing it back into the website, the exploiter could gain the telephone number of yet another customer. An experienced hacker could also use the code to retrieve text messages sent through the network.

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