A MoviePass Security Gaffe Leaves Tens of Thousands of Accounts Exposed

zhuzhu/iStock via Getty Images
zhuzhu/iStock via Getty Images

When MoviePass launched a $9.95 subscription service in 2017, it was heralded as nothing less than a revolution in the moviegoing experience. The monthly fee allowed once-daily admission to first-run theatrical films at all of the major chains. Roughly 1 million people signed up for the app in the first four months alone. But AMC and other exhibitors resisted the business plan, leading to dwindling benefits and bad press.

Now, MoviePass is dealing with another issue: Leaving the customer card numbers of at least 58,000 users, plus many credit card numbers, easily accessible on a server.

According to TechCrunch, the data was first discovered by Dubai-based security firm SpiderSilk and security researcher Mossab Hussein. The cards were left unencrypted and available to review on the server without the need for a password. MoviePass cards are issued by Mastercard and operate like conventional debit cards, with pre-loaded balances that pay the full admission price at theater chains. The unsecured server also had conventional credit card information for customers that are used to pay the MoviePass subscription. These records included billing addresses. TechCrunch stated that among the records they reviewed, some contained enough information to make fraudulent purchases.

The database was taken offline this week, but it’s believed it had been open and accessible for months. Security researcher Nitish Shah said he discovered the database earlier in the year, wrote MoviePass to warn them, but received no reply. In a statement, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said the company was looking into it and would notify affected customers. In the interim, it's probably wise for MoviePass subscribers to monitor affiliated credit cards for any suspicious charges.

[h/t Gizmodo]

The Two Types of Millennials, and the Differences Between Them

undefined undefined / iStock via Getty Images
undefined undefined / iStock via Getty Images

Though often described in blanket terms, each Millennial's experience varies greatly. And it isn't just their age ranges and relationships to technology that divide the generation. According to one expert, American Millennials (anyone born between the years 1981 and 1996) fall into two subgroups based on their levels of success: "me-llennials" and "mega-llennials."

Center for Generational Kinetics president Jason Dorsey, who researches Millennials, told Business Insider that life paths and financial status may be a better indicator of the differences in members of this generation than the years they were born. According to him, the first group feels behind in their careers and other areas of adult life, while the second group feels right on track.

For the first group, he coined the term "me-llennials." These are Millennials who fit the common narrative surrounding the generation: They're dealing with stagnant wages and career paths, unaffordable housing, and mountains of student loan debt. The homeownership rate of Millennials today is 8 percent lower than that of Baby Boomers at the same age. National student loan debt, meanwhile, reached a record high of $1.5 trillion in 2019.

Millennials belonging to the second group are at a much different place in life. These so-called "mega-llennials" manage their bills, feel satisfied with their careers, and are overall more financially stable than other members of their generation. For these reasons, mega-llennials may not relate to the typical millennial experience that's often reported.

These trends indicate that the story of Millennials' progress is more complicated than it may seem. While the combination of steep bills and low wages may be worse for young people today than it was for older generations, the Millennials who aren't dealing with those hardships have an even greater advantage over their peers. The gap between these subgroups will only get wider: Millennials are set to inherit trillions in wealth over the coming decades.

[h/t Business Insider]

The University of Texas at San Antonio Is Offering Free Tuition to Thousands of Students

Prostock-Studio/iStock via Getty Images
Prostock-Studio/iStock via Getty Images

If you’re a resident of Texas with college ambitions but face some financial hardship, there’s good news coming out of the University of Texas at San Antonio. This week, the school announced a program called Bold Promise, which will cover tuition for thousands of students annually.

To be eligible, enrollees must be first-time freshmen living in the state, ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school class, and have graduated less than 16 months prior. Once enrolled, they must maintain a 2.5 grade point average each semester. The adjusted gross income of their family cannot exceed $50,500.

UTSA is currently ranked 293 to 381 by U.S. News and World Report in national universities. The school hosts roughly 32,264 students, with an average annual tuition of $9722 for Texans and $24,722 for out-of-state attendees. The acceptance rate is roughly 79 percent.

Incoming students have until January 15 to submit an application, but no separate Bold Promise form is required. The program officially begins with the fall 2020 semester and will cover four years of education. UTSA says the cost will be covered by scholarships, grants, and other exemptions on the state and federal levels. Students will also have the chance to apply for financial aid to cover boarding expenses. UTSA estimates 4000 students will be eligible for the program.

The University of Texas-Austin instituted a similar offer earlier this year, with free tuition for a four-year program offered to students with household incomes of $65,000 or less. Colleges in Michigan and New York have also implemented tuition programs.

[h/t KSAT]

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