T-Mobile says 37 million customer data exposed in second data breach in 2 years
US mobile operator T-Mobile said on Thursday it was investigating a data breach that could have exposed 37 million postpaid and prepaid accounts, and hinted it would incur significant costs related to the incident. .
It is the second major cyberattack in less than two years and comes months after the carrier agreed to upgrade its data security to settle litigation related to a 2021 incident that compromised the information of around 76.6 million people.
The company identified malicious activity on Jan. 5 and contained it within a day, it said, adding that no sensitive data such as financial information was exposed.
T-Mobile, however, added that basic customer data – such as name, billing address, email and phone number – had been breached and it had begun notifying customers concerned. The company has over 110 million subscribers.
A spokesperson for the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said the regulator had opened an investigation into the incident.
“Carriers have a unique responsibility to protect customer information. If they don’t, we will hold them accountable. This incident is the latest in a series of data breaches within the company, and the FCC investigation,” the spokesperson said.
T-Mobile declined to comment on the investigation. Shares of the company fell 1% in Friday morning trading.
News of the incident also drew strong reactions from analysts.
“While these cybersecurity flaws are not systemic in nature, their frequency of occurrence at T-Mobile is an alarming outlier compared to telecommunications peers,” said Neil Mack, principal analyst for Moody’s Investors Service.
“This could negatively impact customer behavior, cause increased churn, and potentially attract the attention of the FCC and other regulators.”
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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