Huge Discounts on your Favorite RPGs @

Tempe web entrepreneur exposes another alarming Amazon vulnerability

Pathfinder Infinite

Over the summer Wired magazine writer Mat Honan related his nightmare of costly identity theft through vulnerabilities in the way his Amazon, iCloud and Google accounts interacted.

Now it is Chris Cardinal, an executive at Tempe-based web development firm Synapse Studios, who is sounding the alarm about a kind of fraud made possible by Amazon customer service policies that allow scammers to prey off recent legitimate orders to get free stuff sent to them at a new address. Like Honan’s troubles, it’s not really “hacking” but more a form of “social engineering,” as Cardinal describes it in a post republished at Gizmodo.

The vigilant entrepreneur received emails detailing interactions with offshored customer support that never took place — at least as far as he is concerned. He could have dismissed the emails as phishing scams, but took the time to check them and saw they were more insidious than that. It became clear that someone was instigating and re-routing replacement orders for purchases he had made — and scoring hundreds of dollars in expensive camera equipment for free. It doesn’t cost him anything — just opens the possibility that any legitimate issue requiring product replacement might be met with skepticism later on. And that’s his reputation on the line, in a very real way.

What can we take away from his experience? Change your passwords — and get serious about secure ones. Enable two-step authentication. Watch your inbox for signs of suspicious transactions (knowing that some of them might be spam, but others — as Cardinal found — were real, though not legit). And demand better protection from the companies you do business with online.

Subscribe for free updates!


View previous campaigns.

Powered by MailChimp

Nerdvana Media will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.