Data of 40 million plus exposed in latest T-Mobile breach

The names, Social Security numbers and information from driver's licenses or other identification of just over 40 million people who applied for T-Mobile credit were exposed in a recent data breach, the company said Wednesday.

Associated Press

Aug 18, 2021, 9:09 PM

Updated 970 days ago

Share:

Data of 40 million plus exposed in latest T-Mobile breach
The names, Social Security numbers and information from driver's licenses or other identification of just over 40 million people who applied for T-Mobile credit were exposed in a recent data breach, the company said Wednesday.
The same data for about 7.8 million current T-Mobile customers who pay for phone service in monthly bills also appears to be compromised. No phone numbers, account numbers, PINs, passwords or financial information from the nearly 50 million records and accounts were compromised, it said.
T-Mobile has been hit before by data theft but in the most recent case, "the sheer numbers far exceed the previous breaches," said Gartner analyst Paul Furtado.
T-Mobile, which is based in Bellevue, Washington, became one of the country's largest cellphone service carriers, along with AT&T and Verizon, after buying rival Sprint last year. It reported having a total of 102.1 million U.S. customers after the merger.
"Yes, they have a big target on their back but that shouldn't be a surprise to them," Furtado said. "You have to start questioning the organization. How much are they actually addressing these breaches and the level of seriousness?"
T-Mobile also confirmed Wednesday that approximately 850,000 active T-Mobile prepaid customer names, phone numbers and account PINs were exposed. The company said that it proactively reset all of the PINs on those accounts. No Metro by T-Mobile, former Sprint prepaid, or Boost customers had their names or PINs exposed.
There was also some additional information from inactive prepaid accounts accessed through prepaid billing files. T-Mobile said that no customer financial information, credit card information, debit or other payment information or Social Security numbers were in the inactive file.
T-Mobile had said earlier this week that it was investigating a leak of its data after someone took to an online forum offering to sell the personal information of cellphone users.
The company said Monday that it had confirmed there was unauthorized access to "some T-Mobile data" and that it had closed the entry point used to gain access. "If you were affected, you'll hear from us soon," CEO Mike Sievert tweeted in response to a concerned customer Tuesday.
The company now says it will immediately offer two years of free identity protection services and is recommending that all of its postpaid customers — those who pay in monthly installments — change their PIN. Its investigation is ongoing.
T-Mobile has previously disclosed a number of data breaches over the years, most recently in January and before that in Nov. 2019 and Aug. 2018, all of which involved unauthorized access to customer information. It also disclosed a breach affecting its own employees' email accounts in 2020. And in 2015, hackers stole personal information belonging to about 15 million T-Mobile wireless customers and potential customers in the U.S., which they obtained from credit reporting agency Experian.
"It's a real indictment on T-Mobile and whether or not these customers would want to continue working with T-Mobile," said Forrester analyst Allie Mellen. "Ultimately T-Mobile has a lot of really sensitive information on people and it's just a matter of luck that, this time, the information affected was not financial information."
She said the hack didn't appear particularly sophisticated and involved a configuration issue on a server used for testing T-Mobile phones.
"There was a gate left wide open for the attackers and they just had to find the gate and walk through it," Mellen said. "And T-Mobile didn't know about the attack until the attackers posted about it in an online forum. That's really troubling and does not give a good indication that T-Mobile has the appropriate security monitoring in place."
By MATT O'BRIEN AP Technology Writer


More from News 12
2:37
Tax Day 2024 deals at Krispy Kreme, Grubhub, Dave & Busters

Tax Day 2024 deals at Krispy Kreme, Grubhub, Dave & Busters

1:43
Mostly sunny in New Jersey with highs near 80; thunderstorms tonight in Ocean County

Mostly sunny in New Jersey with highs near 80; thunderstorms tonight in Ocean County

2:20
New Jersey synagogues on high alert after Iran attacks Israel

New Jersey synagogues on high alert after Iran attacks Israel

0:18
2 best friends from New Jersey split $1 million Powerball winnings

2 best friends from New Jersey split $1 million Powerball winnings

9:54
be Well: Melissa Gorga on balancing life on reality television and her business

be Well: Melissa Gorga on balancing life on reality television and her business

0:27
Officials: Warren County man arrested for punching 2 Newark police officers

Officials: Warren County man arrested for punching 2 Newark police officers

2:33
Made In New Jersey: Unionwear in Newark makes clothes for union members nationwide

Made In New Jersey: Unionwear in Newark makes clothes for union members nationwide

0:38
Ridgewood's Scottie Scheffler unstoppable and wins another Masters green jacket

Ridgewood's Scottie Scheffler unstoppable and wins another Masters green jacket

0:28
New Jersey Turnpike Authority warns users of text message scam

New Jersey Turnpike Authority warns users of text message scam

0:28
NJ man sentenced to serve 15 years in prison for 2023 sexual assault, kidnapping at Farleigh Dickinson University

NJ man sentenced to serve 15 years in prison for 2023 sexual assault, kidnapping at Farleigh Dickinson University

0:19
Riverton police arrest man accused of burglarizing multiple sheds, garages

Riverton police arrest man accused of burglarizing multiple sheds, garages

0:29
Travel advisory: Lane closures planned this week at many bridge, tunnel crossings in and out of New Jersey

Travel advisory: Lane closures planned this week at many bridge, tunnel crossings in and out of New Jersey

1:47
Food labels can sometimes be misleading. Kane In Your Corner explains what to look out for.

Food labels can sometimes be misleading. Kane In Your Corner explains what to look out for.

0:22
Passaic Valley Water Commission to begin annual hydrant flushing today

Passaic Valley Water Commission to begin annual hydrant flushing today

4:39
Guide: Ways to help you identify and deal with work burnout

Guide: Ways to help you identify and deal with work burnout

1:21
NJ residents who have family in Israel worried over their safety amid Iran's attack on Middle Eastern country

NJ residents who have family in Israel worried over their safety amid Iran's attack on Middle Eastern country

0:19
Police: 3 injured in Paterson shooting

Police: 3 injured in Paterson shooting

0:21
Police: Suspect arrested for fatally shooting man in Trenton

Police: Suspect arrested for fatally shooting man in Trenton

0:25
Police: Man who punched 9-year-old girl at Grand Central Terminal arrested

Police: Man who punched 9-year-old girl at Grand Central Terminal arrested

0:44
NJ Attorney General announces heightened safety measures amid tensions in Middle East

NJ Attorney General announces heightened safety measures amid tensions in Middle East