Essential, Andy Rubin’s new company, is currently in the process of getting its first products into the hands of customers. This process has been made convoluted and laborious by carriers, but very recently the company sent an email containing personal information to a number of potential customers.
This email was originally believed to be a phishing attack, preying on those early adopters of the Essential PH-1 smartphone, but the company has since announced that it was one of their email accounts used. However, this account was indeed one of Essentials’, only it had been ‘mis-configured.’ Essential has now disabled this email account and ha changed their internal processes and safeguards to prevent something like this from happening again.
What exactly did happen? A number of customers who had pre-ordered the Essential PH-1 smartphone were asked, via the mis-configured email account, for sensitive information. This included photo ID and address information. Some customers responded, and the company sent this information to another small group of customers. Unfortunately, as this information was sent via email, there is nothing Essential can do to recover this data.
Andy Rubin has signed a blog post explaining that Essential would buy the seventy customers whose information leaked a year-long subscription to the identity theft protection service, LifeLock. Rubin also thanked support and patience for Essential since the company announced its products at the end of May, and the road to bringing the new smartphone, 360-camera and Home Hub has not been easy.