T-Mobile Discloses Recent Security Breach Impacting 2M Customers, No Financial Data Compromised

by

T-Mobile and its subsidiary MetroPCS today disclosed a recent incident where hackers gained "unauthorized access to certain information" of its customers, which the companies have already reported to the police and shut down. The security breach occurred earlier this week on Monday, August 20, and affected two million customers (via Motherboard).


T-Mobile promises that no financial data, credit card information, social security numbers, or passwords were compromised in the breach. However, "some of your personal information may have been exposed," the company states in the letter shared online, including one or more of the following: name, billing zip code, phone number, email address, account number, and account type (prepaid or postpaid).

A T-Mobile spokesperson says that the security breach affected "slightly less than" three percent of its 77 million customers, but did not reference a specific number. The incident reportedly happened "early in the morning" on August 20, and was perpetrated by hackers part of "an international group" that accessed T-Mobile servers through an API that "didn't contain any financial data or other very sensitive data."

The intrusion was discovered by T-Mobile's cybersecurity team the same day:

“We found it quickly and shut it down very fast,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said she couldn’t give “specifics” of the attack and did not know whether the hackers were criminals or part of a government.

T-Mobile is reaching out to victims directly via text message to notify them, she said.

T-Mobile is now reaching out to notify all affected customers, and "if you don't receive a notification then that means your account was not among those impacted by this incident." The breach occurred less than a week after T-Mobile announced its new customer service initiative "Team of Experts."

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
27 months ago

Here’s a great idea, stop centralizing databases.

Decentralize the customer information so they have direct access.

That wau when a hacker comes around, it’s not just one or two targets with MILLIONS of person info, instead they would need to target one person at a time

Not being a physical asset this would not apply. If you can see the records from a single machine it does not matter where they are stored. It would not make sense to have multiple systems for customer data, the agents alone would take a lot of time trying to find the user. So, option two is better management of access.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago

Here’s a great idea, stop centralizing databases.

Decentralize the customer information so they have direct access.

That wau when a hacker comes around, it’s not just one or two targets with MILLIONS of person info, instead they would need to target one person at a time

There's no solution that's hacker-proof. A script can be written to pull the data of one customer and re-run a million times automatically to pull the data of all the others.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago
Yeah, I got a text message yesterday saying my info was compromised.

I hope whoever steals my identity enjoys the student loan debt!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago
Beware that this is the perfect situation whereby you are the target of "spear phishing"

Here is how that would work:
[LIST=1]
* The news are out that T-Mobile servers have been compromised, and that a small fraction of subscribers will receive an email warning them that they may have been the target.
* You receive such email. The email appears to be authentic; but it is not and yet it appears crafted by T-Mobile Customer Service.
* It includes within the email body an embedded URL requesting you, the recipient, to click and login onto your T-Mobile account, and "change your password".
* The URL is fake, and points to hackers' backend servers.
* Unaware, you click and "login" with your login credentials.
* Presto, your credentials are now on the wild, and you have given the hackers a free pass to your T-Mobiel account, and posible financial information.

So beware.
Never click on embedded URLs within the body of emails.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago
Here’s a great idea, stop centralizing databases.

Decentralize the customer information so they have direct access.

That wau when a hacker comes around, it’s not just one or two targets with MILLIONS of person info, instead they would need to target one person at a time
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

PSA: New Apple Watch Owners Have to Return Entire Device for Ill-Fitting Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop

Monday September 21, 2020 3:26 pm PDT by
With the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple introduced two new band options, the Solo Loop and the Braided Solo Loop. These new bands are unique because they have no clasps, buckles, or other fasteners, and instead use a stretch design to allow them to pull onto the wrist over the hand. Because these bands are not adjustable, Apple sells each one in nine different sizes to make sure each person...

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

Apple Releases First Public Betas of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 With New Shazam Control Center Options

Monday September 21, 2020 10:34 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates to its public beta testing group, a few days after seeding the first betas to developers and a little less than a week after releasing the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS‌ 14.2 updates over the air after ...

Microsoft Announces Outlook for Mac Redesign, Improvements to iOS and watchOS Apps

Tuesday September 22, 2020 8:56 am PDT by
Microsoft has today announced plans to bring a new design to its Outlook for Mac app along with several other improvements and features for Outlook on iOS and watchOS. In preparation for the public release of macOS Big Sur, Microsoft has been testing a new design for Outlook on Mac. The design includes Microsoft's Fluent icons and several design cues from Big Sur such as rounded corners....

Kuo: Apple to Accelerate Adoption of Mini-LED Displays in iPad and Mac Notebook Lineups

Sunday September 20, 2020 10:00 pm PDT by
Increased competition among Apple's suppliers for mini-LED display chips will accelerate the company's adoption of the advanced technology in its iPad and MacBook lineups, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. Kuo says that while Epistar had been predicted to be the exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips for Apple products in 2021, Sanan Optoelectronics...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

Apple Releases Eighth Beta of macOS Big Sur to Developers [Update: Public Beta Now Available]

Tuesday September 22, 2020 10:08 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the eighth beta of an upcoming macOS Big Sur update to developers for testing purposes, close to a week after releasing the sixth beta and more than two months after the new update was unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas...

AT&T Already Working on 6G, Says 5G iPhones Might Not Be 'Massive Event' Due to Economic Uncertainty

Monday September 21, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming launch of 5G iPhones might not be a "massive event" due to economic uncertainty amid the global health crisis, AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh said in a paywalled interview published by CNBC. "I do believe that you will see many of the iPhone subscribers move to upgrade to the device," said McElfresh. "But I wouldn't forecast that it's going to be a massive event. I...