T-Mobile CEO Apologizes for Data Breach, Shares Info on Future Security Plans

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert today penned a letter to T-Mobile customers apologizing for the recent data breach that impacted more than 50 million current, former, and prospective T-Mobile users.

tmobilelogo
Data that included names, phone numbers, addresses, birth dates, social security numbers, driver's license and ID info, IMEI numbers, and IMSI numbers was stolen and has been offered for sale.

"We didn't live up to the expectations we have for ourselves to protect our customers," wrote Sievert. "Knowing that we failed to prevent this exposure is one of the hardest parts of this event. On behalf of everyone at Team Magenta, I want to say we are truly sorry."

He went on to say that T-Mobile is "disappointed and frustrated" and that keeping customer data safe is a responsibility that is taken "incredibly seriously." Preventing attacks is a "top priority" for the company.

The hacker who claims to have attacked T-Mobile's servers yesterday said that T-Mobile's security is "awful." The hacker said that he discovered an unprotected T-Mobile router in July and used that to access T-Mobile's data center in Washington, where he was able to get in using stored credentials.

Sievert said that T-Mobile is coordinating with law enforcement on a criminal investigation, and that the company is unable to disclose specific details at this time.

What we can share is that, in simplest terms, the bad actor leveraged their knowledge of technical systems, along with specialized tools and capabilities, to gain access to our testing environments and then used brute force attacks and other methods to make their way into other IT servers that included customer data.

T-Mobile has now notified every current T-Mobile customer about the data breach, and is working to notify former and prospective customers. Those affected can visit T-Mobile's website dedicated to the attack, which provides tools for signing up for free McAfee ID Theft Protection, setting up Scam Shield, and using the Account Takeover Protection service.

In an attempt to prevent future attacks, T-Mobile has entered long-term partnerships with cybersecurity experts at Mandiant and with consulting firm KPMG LLP. T-Mobile is planning a multi-year investment into beefing up its security.

Top Rated Comments

benh911f Avatar
19 months ago
I hate when these companies release statements after the fact saying how important keeping customer info safe and secure is. Just so disingenuous when it clearly isn’t important to them at all.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
velocityg4 Avatar
19 months ago
T-Mobile: We're now upgrading to Windows 98 and installing Norton Utilities. Plus enforcing four digit numerical passwords for all administrators. Everything should be good now.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nutmac Avatar
19 months ago
All empty words.

T-Mobile should minimally implement:

* Non-SMS 2FA: Integrate with more secure 3rd party SSO like Apple or Google, and allow customers to use only RFC-6238 without the SMS fallback.
* Automated PIN Entry: Currently, T-Mobile representative asks customers to recite the PIN. A bank teller would never ask for your PIN. The entry should be done by an automated system.
* Close the Backdoors: T-Mobile representative can bypass the PIN and reset it with easily hacked info like social security number and mother's maiden name. Resetting them should require third party knowledge-based authentication service.
* Data minimization: Do not store sensitive info like social security number, birthdate, and driver's license. Customers should be required to enter these information whenever T-Mobile needs to pull credit report.
* Data retention: When a customer leaves, encrypt and archive their data to entirely separate system that requires more stringent access control. And allow customers to delete them indefinitely.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Think|Different Avatar
19 months ago
I mean, I could switch but, these days, whoever I switched to could have the same thing happen during the first week. This stinks and is unacceptable but I can’t say it’s an obvious decision to ditch them.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
19 months ago
[HEADING=2]Apologizes Until it happens again...and again...and yet again.[/HEADING]
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mapsdotapp Avatar
19 months ago
T-Mobile does have terrible security, even from a consumer’s perspective. They support TOTP tokens for two-factor authentication, but even if one enables it you can still use SMS as a fallback. This defeats the whole point as SMS has known vulnerabilities and is deprecated as a 2FA measure by NIST. Oh and by the way, your Apple ID has this vulnerability too. Hope your phone number is secure.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
magsafe duo perspective feature

Apple Releases New MagSafe Duo Firmware

Tuesday February 7, 2023 12:41 pm PST by
Apple today released updated firmware for the MagSafe Duo charger that is designed to work with the Apple Watch and MagSafe-compatible iPhone models. The new firmware is version 10M3063, but in the settings app, you'll see a 256.1067.0 version number, up from 186.0.0.0. The MagSafe Duo was first released in 2020 alongside the iPhone 12 models, and it has not had a firmware update before....
oneplus 11 3

Camera Comparison: Apple's iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. OnePlus 11 5G

Tuesday February 7, 2023 10:11 am PST by
Chinese smartphone company OnePlus today announced the official debut of the OnePlus 11 5G, which is the company's latest flagship smartphone. The device was already announced in China, but today marks the global launch so we thought we'd compare the OnePlus 11 5G to the iPhone 14 Pro Max to see how the camera measures up. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple's...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Orange

Apple Releases tvOS 16.3.1 and HomePod 16.3.1 Software Updates

Monday February 6, 2023 10:13 am PST by
Apple today released new tvOS 16.3.1 and HomePod 16.3.1 software updates, with the software coming two weeks after the tvOS 16.3 and HomePod 16.3 updates were released. According to Apple's release notes for HomePod software 16.3.1, the update includes general performance and stability improvements. Notes for tvOS 16.3.1 are unavailable as of yet, but are probably similar to the HomePod...
iPhone 15 Pro Blue Feature

iPhone 15 Pro 'Buttonless Design' Rumors: Everything We Know

Monday February 6, 2023 7:44 am PST by
The iPhone 15 Pro models will feature a "buttonless design" thanks to additional Taptic Engines, according to multiple corroborated reports, so what do we know about the change so far? Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was first to report that the volume and power buttons on this year's two high-end iPhone models will adopt a solid-state design, similar to the iPhone 7's home button, replacing a...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

Gurman: Apple Considering New High-End iPhone Alongside Pro and Pro Max

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:07 am PST by
Apple has discussed selling a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside the Pro and Pro Max models in 2024 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Based on this timeframe, the device would be part of the iPhone 16 lineup or later. In a September 2022 edition of his weekly "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said there was "potential" for an iPhone 15 Ultra to replace the iPhone 15 Pro...
iphone ultra concept daehnert

'iPhone Ultra' Concept Envisions Apple's Rumored Future Top-Tier Smartphone

Tuesday February 7, 2023 5:38 am PST by
Apple has reportedly considered releasing a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside future Pro and Pro Max models, tentatively referred to as "iPhone Ultra," and one designer has taken it upon himself to envision what such a device could potentially look like. German industrial designer Jonas Daehnert came up with this impressive-looking concept (pictured) by marrying design elements of the...
Apple iPad 10th gen Magic Keyboard Folio Apple Pencil Feature Blue

Apple Could Break an iPad Tradition This Year

Wednesday February 8, 2023 3:13 am PST by
Apple usually releases a new entry-level iPad every year, but the current lineup and rumors for 2023 may indicate that this will be the first year when the company breaks this convention. When Apple introduced the 10th-generation iPad last year, it added the device to the lineup above the ninth-generation model from 2021. As a result, Apple currently sells both the ninth- and 10th-generation ...