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
14 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
14 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
14 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
14 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
14 months ago
[HEADING=2]Apologizes Until it happens again...and again...and yet again.[/HEADING]
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mapsdotapp Avatar
14 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)

Related Stories

powerdir exploit microsoft

Microsoft Discovered New 'Powerdir' macOS Vulnerability, Fixed in 12.1 Update

Monday January 10, 2022 9:17 am PST by
Microsoft's 365 Defender Research Team this morning published details on a new "Powerdir" macOS vulnerability that let an attacker bypass the Transparency, Consent, and Control technology to gain unauthorized access to protected data. Apple already addressed the CVE-2021-30970 vulnerability in the macOS Monterey 12.1 update that was released in December, so users who have updated to the...
apple security banner

Apple Reportedly Notified Some U.S. State Department Employees They May Have Been Targeted by NSO Group Spyware

Friday December 3, 2021 8:56 am PST by
Apple has notified at least nine U.S. Department of State employees that they may have been targeted by state-sponsored spyware created by Israeli company NSO Group, according to a Reuters report citing four people familiar with the matter. A spokesperson for NSO Group told Reuters that it will investigate and take legal action against customers using its tools illegally if necessary."If our ...
iCloud General Feature

UK Network Operators Target iCloud Private Relay in Complaint to Regulator

Sunday March 13, 2022 3:48 am PDT by
A group of UK network operators have formally urged the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to regulate iCloud Private Relay, claiming that Apple's privacy service is anti-competitive, potentially bad for users, and a threat to national security. In its response to the CMA's Interim Report on mobile ecosystems, Mobile UK, a trade association of British mobile network operators,...
apple security banner

Apple Outlines How It Will Notify Users Who Have Been Targeted by State-Sponsored Spyware Attacks

Tuesday November 23, 2021 8:15 pm PST by
Earlier today, Apple announced that it had filed suit against NSO Group, the firm responsible for the Pegasus spyware that has been used in state-sponsored surveillance campaigns in a number of countries. NSO Group seeks to take advantage of vulnerabilities in iOS and other platforms to infiltrate the devices of targeted users such as journalists, activists, dissidents, academics, and government...
oculus health app

Oculus Quest 2 Movement Data Will Sync With Apple Health App Starting in April

Thursday March 10, 2022 11:07 am PST by
Facebook parent company Meta today announced an upcoming fitness update for the Oculus Quest 2, which will allow fitness data captured during VR workouts to be integrated with the Apple Health app. Right now, when people exercise with interactive games like Liteboxer, Beat Saber, or Dance Central using the Oculus Quest 2, the data can only be viewed on the Oculus Mobile app on the headset...
tmobilelogo

T-Mobile Says an Additional 5.3 Million Customer Accounts Were Compromised in Data Breach

Friday August 20, 2021 9:21 am PDT by
T-Mobile earlier this week shared details on a data breach where hackers gained access to the personal information of close to 50 million current, former, and prospective customers. At the time, T-Mobile said that data from 7.8 million current customers had been compromised, as well as information from 40 million former or potential customers. In an updated statement provided today, T-Mobile ...
iPhone SE 3 stacked

Apple Using Streamlined Purchase Process for T-Mobile and AT&T iPhone SE Buyers

Thursday March 17, 2022 2:50 pm PDT by
Apple is streamlining its iPhone purchase process with the launch of the iPhone SE, and has introduced a new buying method that allows customers to purchase T-Mobile and AT&T devices without inputting their current carrier information. As outlined by Bloomberg, customers typically need to provide their wireless phone number and social security number when making an iPhone purchase, a process ...
tmobilelogo

T-Mobile Says iOS 15.2 Bug Turning Off iCloud Private Relay for Some Users

Tuesday January 11, 2022 12:02 pm PST by
T-Mobile has not disabled iCloud Private Relay for its subscribers, in contrast to recent reports suggesting the carrier was preventing iPhone users from enabling the feature. In a statement to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, T-Mobile said that iOS 15.2 device settings that default to the feature being toggled off, and that Apple has been contacted. T-Mobile explicitly says that iCloud relay has...

Popular Stories

apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...
Dark Sky App Featured

Dark Sky Removed From iOS App Store Ahead of Upcoming Shutdown

Wednesday September 28, 2022 4:27 pm PDT by
The Dark Sky weather app that's owned by Apple is no longer available for download in the U.S. App Store, suggesting that it has been removed ahead of schedule. Apple acquired Dark Sky back in March 2020 and has since incorporated elements of the app into the Weather app available on the iPhone (and soon, the iPad). Dark Sky remained available for purchase as a standalone weather app...
iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
tony blevins car

Apple Procurement VP Departs Company After Vulgar TikTok Comment

Thursday September 29, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, is set to depart the company after he made a crude comment about his profession in a recent TikTok video, reports Bloomberg. Blevins was in a video by TikTok creator Daniel Mac, who was doing a series on the jobs of people he spotted with expensive cars. After seeing Blevins in an expensive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Mac asked Blevins what ...
iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature

Verizon iPhone 14 Pro Customers Reporting Cellular Connection Issues

Monday September 26, 2022 6:23 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping. Several threads on Reddit (1,2,3) and the MacRumors forums chronicle issues faced by Verizon customers and Apple's latest iPhone. According to user reports, signal strength on the iPhone 14 Pro is unreliable and weak, while other...
iPhone 15 to Switch From Lightning to USB C in 2023 feature sans arrow

Kuo: iPhone 14 Pro Max Popularity Could Lead to More Differentiation Between iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

Wednesday September 28, 2022 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has seen high demand for the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, which could lead the company to further differentiate the next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple could add exclusive features to the iPhone 15 Pro Max in an effort to encourage more people to purchase the larger and more expensive device. Kuo last week said that Apple asked...
iPhone 14 Pro Sports Scores Dynamic Island

iPhone 14 Pro Features Live Sports Scores in Dynamic Island on iOS 16.1

Monday September 26, 2022 7:52 am PDT by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature that allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island. Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Paul Bradford ...
iOS 16

Everything New in the Latest iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 Betas: Stage Manager Expansion, Wallpaper Tweaks and More

Tuesday September 27, 2022 11:36 am PDT by
Apple today released new betas of iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 to developers, tweaking some of the functionality that's been introduced in prior betas and in the case of iPadOS 16.1, adding a major new feature to Stage Manager. We've rounded up everything new in both betas below. Wallpaper Updates Apple has updated the Wallpaper section of the Settings app to allow users to swap between...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...