Verizon's Visible MVNO may have been hacked

Aside from the big three, previously four, US network operators, there are quite a number of smaller carriers catering to more specific segments of the phone market. The advent of MVNOs or Mobile Virtual Network Operators has only increased the number of players, but these often still call those bigger networks their home. Visible, for example, is Verizon's attempt at servicing more budget-conscious customers, and it may have been the latest victim of a security breach that has its subscribers up in arms.

The Internet is being flooded by complaints on social media and sites like Reddit coming from disgruntled Visible customers who feel that they are currently invisible to the carrier. A number of these are crying out over the loss of their accounts by some unknown entity resetting their email address and effectively locking them out. That, however, is only the tip of the iceberg, and many of these complainants have found themselves suddenly charged for phones they didn't buy.

A couple of anecdotes paint a nightmare scenario for any consumer, being charged with a $1,000 phone that didn't really buy. Some that did buy a phone discovered that the shipping address for that phone was changed, which means someone else will be receiving that device. Making matters worse is the company's silence amidst the growing number of cries.

At the time of this article's publishing, neither Verizon nor Visible has acknowledged any of these complaints. The closest thing is a post on Reddit from a Visible employing saying that they are investigating the unauthorized change of information on a "small number" of accounts. The post then recommends that users change their passwords, even if there wasn't a security breach involved.

That advice would have made sense if Visible itself didn't disable the ability of users to reset their passwords or change billing information. The network operator apparently doesn't implement two-factor authentication either, which would have mitigated the effects of such hacking incidents. Unfortunately, the situation leaves affected subscribers with no other recourse than to vent out their frustration over the Internet while waiting for a Visible response.