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      The Weekly Hack: Massage app accidentally reveals which clients asked for sexual favors

      A hacker impersonated a title company and convinced a house hunter to wire over his money

      Who would have guessed that an app designed to order massages straight to your door had both poor security and customers with perhaps some trouble keeping their hands to themselves?

      Urban, a popular London-based startup selling “wellness that comes to you,” accidentally leaked its entire customer database online, revealing  email addresses, phone numbers, and names of all its 309,000 customers. Included in the database were also complaints from therapists about the specific clients who requested “sexual services.”

      Urban pulled the database offline after the website TechCrunch discovered it and contacted the company for comment. So there’s probably no need to go into hiding if you’re one of the offending customers, unless someone took a screenshot.  

      House hunter

      A dentist in Missouri is out $90,000 after hackers successfully impersonated the real estate companies that he was already doing business with.

      Howard Ritchey Jr. was hunting for a new home last year and working with title, mortgage, and real estate companies to make the purchase happen. In the middle of the deal, he received an email from what looked like his title company which instructed him to wire $88,338 over to secure his desired house.

      But when he followed up in person with his lender, he was told the money didn’t go to the home. The lender said it looked like hackers got into his email and stole his money. Ritchey is now suing the title company and other parties, alleging that hackers actually targeted their emails and failed to warn him about the impersonators.

      Ritchey’s case isn’t unique; the FBI says that similar complaints of real estate business impersonators are on the rise. Yet another reason not to wire money.  

      Dunkin’ Donuts

      Joining a donut loyalty program may have seemed like the ideal way to make your troubles go away, but reality isn’t so sweet. Dunkin’ Donuts recently informed holders of its loyalty Perks accounts that they should change their passwords to all of their other, non-donut-related accounts because their Dunkin’ Donuts passwords may have been stolen.

      Dunkin’ says that thieves tried to break into the loyalty program and may have gained access to consumers’ usernames and passwords in the process. Consumers are instructed to change their passwords to other accounts only if its the same password they used for the Perks program.

      Dell

      Every single person who has shopped for Dell online had their password reset in the online store and wasn’t told why. The computer chain initially discovered it was hacked back on November 9 and changed passwords five days later.  

      A source familiar with the incident says that Dell never informed consumers of the breach before changing their passwords on their behalf, according to a report published Wednesday in Reuters.

      Security experts say it's shameful on Dell’s part that consumers were never told why their passwords were automatically reset, explaining that the move leaves potential victims “abandoned in the darkness and ambiguity.”

      Amazon

      Consumers and researchers are scratching their head about a vague notice that shoppers received from Amazon shortly before Black Friday. The message says that users had their data exposed due to a “technical error,” but it does not specify much else, such as what type of data was exposed or how many people were affected.

      Asked for more details, Amazon has told reporters that there is “nothing to add beyond our statement.” Amazon also told users they already fixed the unspecified issue and that there is no need for consumers to do anything. So, do with that information what you will.

      Health records, again

      Healthcare hackers have struck again, this time targeting more than two million patients covered  by Atrium, a North Carolina-based provider.

      The firm said an “unauthorized third party” accessed patient information between Sept. 22 and 29, but the company told patients that medical records and payment information remains safe.

      Who would have guessed that an app designed to order massages straight to your door had both poor security and customers with perhaps some trouble keeping...
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      AT&T to launch streaming service with three subscription tiers

      The company is aiming to appeal to a wider audience

      AT&T revealed during a presentation in New York to investors that it will use its acquisition of Time Warner to roll out a three-tiered streaming service in late 2019.

      Each level of the upcoming streaming service will offer the following, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

      • First tier. An entry-level option that will be “movie-focused” and include films from WarnerMedia’s catalogue.

      • Second tier. A “premium” level that includes WarnerMedia TV series and “blockbuster movies”

      • Third tier. The top level will be an option that “bundles content from the first two plus an extensive library of WarnerMedia and licensed content,” likely to include shows from HBO.

      John Stankey, chief executive of WarnerMedia, told reporters on Thursday that the ultimate goal is to have subscribers want access to all three tiers.

      "We really want the customer to want all three tiers," he said. "We want the customer to commit all the way."

      The multi-tiered approach lets customers start at a price point that is financially comfortable for them but is intended to sow the desire to shell out more for original TV shows and access to WarnerMedia’s extensive collection of films and television series. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson didn’t say how much each tier would cost.

      Competing with Netflix

      Disney -- which is set to become Hulu’s majority shareholder once its acquisition of 21st Century Fox is finalized -- is also gearing up to launch new streaming video service in 2019. Disney is reportedly looking to offer a digital bundle option for consumers that will include Hulu and ESPN+.

      Companies are rolling out streaming services in an effort to compete with Netflix, which currently has more than 137 million subscribers. AT&T’s DirecTV Now online streaming service is going to lose subscribers this quarter as well as next.

      Stankey said competitors like Netflix "should expect their libraries to get a lot thinner" over the next 18-24 months.

      “We want to broaden the relevant demographic base,” Stankey told investors. “Our goal now is to open the aperture. We want to pick up more content and get more engagement on digital content.”

      "We are well positioned for success as the lines between entertainment and communications continue to blur," Stephenson said. "If you're a media company, you can no longer rely exclusively on wholesale distribution models. You must develop a direct relationship with your viewers. And if you're a communications company, you can no longer rely exclusively on oversized bundles of content."

      AT&T was given the green light to merge with Time Warner in June. The acquisition cost $84.5 billion.

      AT&T; revealed during a presentation in New York to investors that it will use its acquisition of Time Warner to roll out a three-tiered streaming service...
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      Public health is already worsening due to climate change, new report says

      Heat stroke and other related conditions are already on the rise. Researchers say the time to act is now

      At the heart of the U.S. government's two-year National Climate Assessment report, a group of researchers are now warning that climate change is already harming public health.

      A total of 150 experts from 27 different universities and institutions, including the World Health Organization (WHO), published their findings in the journal The Lancet on Wednesday.

      Heat strokes, dengue fever, and lack of access to clean drinking water, clean air, and food supplies are likely to become growing problems if no action is taken on climate change, the report says.

      “These are not things happening in 2050 but are things we are already seeing today. We think of these as the canary in, ironically, the coalmine,” Nick Watt, the Executive Director of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change project, told the Guardian.

      Raising awareness, but action still needed

      The only silver lining comes in the form of awareness. The researchers say that reporting on the human health effects of climate change may make people more inclined to act.

      “Individual engagement and action contributes to a growing wave of change,” an introductory paper to the report says. “This does not negate the need for engagement at international policy level and for governments to better use their powers, but this can be accelerated and complemented by harnessing the collective voice of individuals.”

      But action at the policy level still appears to be a hard-fought battle. The United Nations says that governments must triple their current efforts at tackling climate change to prevent catastrophic warming in the near future.

      The researchers at The Lancet note that hospitals may not be prepared to take on a growing amount of heat stroke patients. The team interviewed officials from 500 global cities and found that much of their public health infrastructure, such as hospitals, were vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

      Some lawmakers in the United States are currently drafting a Green New Deal proposal that they hope will aggressively address the problem.

      At the heart of the U.S. government's two-year National Climate Assessment report, a group of researchers are now warning that climate change is already ha...
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      Dunkin’ Donuts discloses security breach affecting rewards program members

      The chain said a third party obtained usernames and passwords of its DD Perks members

      Dunkin’ Donuts has disclosed that it became aware of a possible security breach on October 31.

      The company said an outside source gained access to some of its DD Perks program customers’ usernames and passwords, as well as their DD Perks account number and DD Perks QR codes.

      Hackers likely gained access to its customers’ private information through security breaches of other companies, the coffee and doughnuts chain said.

      "We learned from one of our security vendors that a third-party may have attempted to log in to your DD Perks account," the company said in a notification to its rewards program customers.

      "Our security vendor was successful in stopping most of these attempts, but it is possible that these third-parties may have succeeded in logging in to your DD Perks account if you used your DD Perks username and password for accounts unrelated to Dunkin’," it said.

      After learning of the breach, Dunkin’ said it "forced a password reset that required all of the potentially impacted DD Perks account holders to log out and log back in to their account using a new password." Dunkin’ encouraged customers to use “unique passwords” and not reuse passwords used for their other online accounts.

      Dunkin’ said it launched an internal investigation into the issue, which revealed that its internal system "did not experience a data security breach."

      Dunkin’ Donuts has disclosed that it became aware of a possible security breach on October 31.The company said an outside source gained access to some...
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      Fed study concludes millennial consumers not that different from older peers

      They don't spend as much because they don't have the money

      The sharing economy and “experiential” consumption are all a product of millennials' values and lifestyles, several studies have suggested. This generation is different from its parents, we have been told.

      Well, maybe not.

      A new study from the Federal Reserve has concluded that consumers born between 1981 and 1997 are pretty much like every other generation. They might not engage in as much spending, but it's not because they don't have the desire, they just don't have the money.

      “We find little evidence that millennial households have tastes and preference for consumption that are lower than those of earlier generations, once the effects of age, income, and a wide range of demographic characteristics are taken into account,” the study's authors write.

      These findings run counter to a number of other studies that conclude young consumers are very different from the generations that came before them. But it is possible the biggest difference is they don't have as much money and face higher costs than previous generations.

      Trends in healthcare

      A recent study by Kaiser Health reported that millennials are creating a new trend in healthcare, avoiding primary care physicians and instead frequenting less expensive retail walk-in clinics and urgent care facilities.

      The Fed study makes the argument that millennials want what every other generation has wanted. But because they came of age during the financial crisis and its aftermath, they have struggled in a stagnant-wage economy while the cost of housing, food, and mobility has continued to climb.

      Millennials tend to have lower incomes than other generations did at the same age. That could explain some emerging economic trends, such as sharing a car instead of owning one.

      “For example, for spending on motor vehicles—which accounts for roughly 20 percent of retail sales and is highly sensitive to the business cycle—we find little evidence that millennial households have significantly different tastes and preferences than households of previous generations,” the authors write. “We find similar results for spending on food and housing-related expenses.”

      Boomers earned more money

      The study notes that when the baby boom generation was young, it was often criticized for spending more than its predecessor, the silent generation. But the authors note boomers didn't spend a greater percentage of their income than their elders, they just earned more.

      While boomers faced runaway inflation in the 1970s, they didn't have to pay a fortune to attend college and they didn't feel compelled to overspend on smartphones, because they didn't exist.

      The Fed report concludes that millennials aren't all that unique in their consumer behavior. They spend less on housing and food than previous generations, but that could be because they spend more on education.

      The sharing economy and “experiential” consumption are all a product of millennials' values and lifestyles, several studies have suggested. This generation...
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      Gas prices close to a 2018 low

      Falling oil prices giving motorists a holiday gift

      Motorists will go into December with a little extra Christmas cash in their pockets thanks to still-falling gasoline prices.

      The AAA Fuel Gauge Survey shows the national average price of regular gas is $2.51 a gallon, down seven cents from a week ago. It's 29 cents a gallon cheaper than a month ago, saving $4.35 on a 15-gallon fill-up.

      The average price of premium gas is $3.10 a gallon, also seven cents cheaper than last Friday. The average price of diesel fuel is $3.21, three cents a gallon cheaper than seven days ago.

      Gas prices are moving lower for one simple reason. The price of oil continues to fall, thanks to rising production and falling demand.

      Building stockpiles

      The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports U.S. oil supplies rose for a 10th straight week, increasing to 450 million barrels. This week's EIA report shows oil stockpiles are about 7 percent higher than the five-year average for this time of year.

      “Growth in global crude production, including in the U.S., combined with weaker than expected global crude demand for the fourth quarter have helped to push crude prices lower,” AAA said in its latest market update.

      At $2.51 a gallon, the average price of gasoline is now just two cents higher than the lowest price of the year, reached back in January. Kentucky and Ohio saw the biggest price drops in the last week. The average price is down 10 cents a gallon in Kentucky and 14 cents lower in Ohio.

      The states with the most expensive regular gas

      These states currently have the highest prices for regular gas, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Survey:

      • Hawaii ($3.72)
      • California ($3.56)
      • Washington ($3.32)
      • Alaska ($3.26)
      • Nevada ($3.17)
      • Oregon ($3.15)
      • Idaho ($2.95)
      • Utah ($2.89)
      • Wyoming ($2.86)
      • Arizona ($2.82)

      The states with the cheapest regular gas

      These states currently have the lowest prices for regular gas, the survey found:

      • Missouri ($2.13)
      • Oklahoma ($2.18)
      • South Carolina ($2.18)
      • Texas ($2.19)
      • Ohio ($2.20)
      • Louisiana ($2.21)
      • Alabama ($2.21)
      • Delaware ($2.21)
      • Mississippi ($2.21)
      • Kentucky ($2.22)
      Motorists will go into December with a little extra Christmas cash in their pockets thanks to still-falling gasoline prices.The AAA Fuel Gauge Survey s...
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      Ford recalls model year 2018 Lincoln Navigators and Ford Expeditions

      The second row center seat may move in a crash

      Ford Motor Company is recalling 34,946 model year 2018 Lincoln Navigators, and Ford Expeditions.

      The second row center seat track assemblies may be missing one or both of the J-Channel reinforcement brackets, possibly allowing the seat to move in the event of a crash.

      A seat that moves in a crash may not properly restrain the occupant, increasing the risk of injury.

      What to do

      Ford will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the second row center seat for any missing J-channel reinforcement brackets, replacing the center seat frame assembly as necessary, free of charge.

      The recall is expected to begin December 17, 2018.

      Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 18S37

      Ford Motor Company is recalling 34,946 model year 2018 Lincoln Navigators, and Ford Expeditions.The second row center seat track assemblies may be miss...
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      Sunshine Mills recalls dry dog food

      The products may have elevated levels of Vitamin D

      Sunshine Mills is recalling Evolve Puppy, Sportsman’s Pride Large Breed Puppy and Triumph Chicken and Rice Dog Food.

      The products may contain elevated levels of Vitamin D which, when consumed at very high levels, can lead to serious health issues in dogs including renal dysfunction.

      Symptoms include vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss.

      The following products with a Best Buy Date Code of November 1, 2018, through November 8, 2019, on the back of each bag, are being recalled:

      • 14 LB Evolve Chicken & Rice Puppy Dry Dog Food Bag UPC: 0-73657-00862-0
      • 28 LB Evolve Chicken & Rice Puppy Dry Dog Food Bag UPC: 0-73657-00863-7
      • 40 LB Sportsman's Pride Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food Bag UPC: 0-70155-10566-0
      • 40 LB Sportsman's Pride Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food Bag UPC: 0-70155-10564-0
      • 3.5 LB Triumph Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food Bag UPC: 0-73657-00873-6
      • 16 LB Triumph Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food Bag UPC: 0-73657-00874-3
      • 30 LB Triumph Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food Bag UPC 0-73657-00875-0

      The recalled products were distributed in retail stores within the U.S., as well as some export distributors in Japan, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Israel, Canada and South Korea.

      What to do

      Customers who purchased the recalled products should dispose of them or return them to the retailer for a full refund.

      Consumers with questions may contact Sunshine Mills customer service at (800) 705-2111 from 7AM – 4PM (CT Monday through Friday, or by email at customer.service@sunshinemills.com.

      Sunshine Mills is recalling Evolve Puppy, Sportsman’s Pride Large Breed Puppy and Triumph Chicken and Rice Dog Food.The products may contain elevated l...
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      Chunwei recalls meat and poultry products

      The products may contain a variety of allergens not declared on the label

      Chunwei, Inc., of Huntington Park, Calif., is recalling approximately 65,023 pounds of various ready-to-eat and raw meat A l;and poultry products.

      The products may contain soy, wheat, dairy, egg, and sesame, known allergens, as well as monosodium glutamate (MSG), which are not declared on the finished product label.

      There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions.

      A list of the recalled items, produced from November 16, 2017, through November 19, 2018, may be found here.

      The recalled products, bearing establishment number “EST. P-8110” or “EST. 8110” inside the USDA mark of inspection, were were shipped to retail locations nationwide.

      What to do

      Customers who purchased the recalled products should not consume them, but discard them or return them to the place of purchase.

      Consumers with questions may contact Yibin Huang at (626) 278-8199, or by email at Yibin.Huang@chunweius.com.

      Chunwei, Inc., of Huntington Park, Calif., is recalling approximately 65,023 pounds of various ready-to-eat and raw meat A l;and poultry products.The p...
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