O2 Shuts MMS Web Service Following Leaks

Resorts to desperate measures as URLs leak out.

It’s not proving a good month for those in the mobile phone biz. Firstly Nokia and then Sony Ericsson had yet more financial results to forget while O2 was hit by a shambolic iPhone 3G launch and it’s not getting any better for this telco either…

On Saturday the Inquirer revealed O2’s web application for viewing MMS messages was letting any old Tom, Dick or Harry see users’ private snaps of Tom, Dick (so to speak) or Harry. The balls up (it’s a pun I can’t escape) occurred because the O2 MMS system requires no authentication to view the messages online just a URL and search monster Google has been indexing them all.

The Inq caught up with one of the victims, a young mother called Sarah who learnt a picture of her daughter aged two was now available to all. Naturally she was furious: “I am completely shocked and confused. I thought messaging was private. I don’t think I’ll be able to send another picture message again as I don’t know where it will end up. I’m absolutely disgusted.”

O2 has responded by cancelling the service and has so far refused to comment on the situation publicly, though a legacy search for the MMSes can still be seen showing the damage. A simple URL and password system would likely do the trick in future, but when we will see this – or indeed the original service – back online is unknown at this stage.

Yep, July has not been a kind month for O2…

Inq Report

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