UPDATED 21:40 EDT / FEBRUARY 24 2020

corona3 SECURITY

Samsung suffers data breach as coronavirus spreads through South Korea

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has suffered a data breach, but though the extent of the breach and exactly what was involved is open to speculation, it may be the least of the company’s problems given that the Wuhan coronavirus  is out of control in South Korea.

Initial reports suggested that the data breach may have been related to a mystery push notification received by some users last week, but Samsung said the push notifications were unrelated.

“A technical error resulted in a small number of users being able to access the details of another user,” Samsung said in a statement reported by The Register. “As soon as we became aware of the incident, we removed the ability to log in to the store on our website until the issue was fixed.”

How many users were affected remains a mystery. “Small number,” at least as described by Samsung, could mean millions of users given the company is the world’s largest seller of smartphones.

What is clear, however, is that those affected could see details of other Samsung users when logged into the Samsung shop.

A data breach may be the least of Samsung’s issues, however. The company has also been forced to shut down a factory in its native South Korea because of the coronavirus.

The factory, in Gumi-si, some 111 miles southeast of Seoul, was shut down after an employee tested positive for the virus. Although Samsung manufactures the bulk of its smartphones in Vietnam and India, the factory is reported to be tasked with making the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, the folding phone launched by Samsung Feb. 11.

South Korea is currently experiencing community transmission of the virus, formally known as COVID-19. Community transmission is where the virus has established itself in the local community and is passed among locals as opposed to infected mainland Chinese tourists infecting those locally.

Fear that the virus has established itself in South Korea has caused the country’s stock exchange to plummet, a contagion that also affected the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which plunged more than 1,000 points as well Monday, its worst day in two years.

Photo: Military Health System

Since you’re here …

Show your support for our mission with our one-click subscription to our YouTube channel (below). The more subscribers we have, the more YouTube will suggest relevant enterprise and emerging technology content to you. Thanks!

Support our mission:    >>>>>>  SUBSCRIBE NOW >>>>>>  to our YouTube channel.

… We’d also like to tell you about our mission and how you can help us fulfill it. SiliconANGLE Media Inc.’s business model is based on the intrinsic value of the content, not advertising. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.The journalism, reporting and commentary on SiliconANGLE — along with live, unscripted video from our Silicon Valley studio and globe-trotting video teams at theCUBE — take a lot of hard work, time and money. Keeping the quality high requires the support of sponsors who are aligned with our vision of ad-free journalism content.

If you like the reporting, video interviews and other ad-free content here, please take a moment to check out a sample of the video content supported by our sponsors, tweet your support, and keep coming back to SiliconANGLE.