August 15, 2022
T-Mobile data breach: US FCC to investigate personal data leak of 7.8 million customers

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said late Wednesday that it would investigate a data breach disclosed by T-Mobile US that affected more than 47 million current, former and potential customers.

The third-largest U.S. wireless carrier said personal data, including the Social Security numbers and driver’s license information of more than 40 million former and potential customers, were stolen, along with data from 7.8 million existing T-Mobile Wireless customers.

The telecom service provider said that the date of birth, first and last name were also stolen, with no indication that their financial details were compromised.

An FCC spokesperson told Reuters: “Telecom companies have a duty to protect their customers’ information. The FCC is aware of reports of a data breach affecting T-Mobile customers and we are investigating.” “

The company, which had 104.8 million subscribers as of June, on Sunday admitted a data breach after a US-based digital media outlet Vice told that a seller offering private data, including social security numbers, from a breach of T-Mobile servers was posted on an underground forum.

T-Mobile also said that approximately 850,000 active T-Mobile prepaid customer names, phone numbers and account PINs were also exposed.

In 2015, AT&T agreed to pay a fine of $25 million (about Rs 185 crore) to resolve an FCC investigation into consumer privacy breaches at AT&T’s call centers.

Vice said the seller claimed 100 million people had their data compromised in the breach. The seller was offering data on 30 million people for 6 bitcoins, or about $270,000 (about Rs 2 crore).

Reports later suggested that there had been a fall in the demand price and the entire data was being sold for only $200 (about Rs 14,860).

Reuters has not been able to verify the veracity of the forum’s post.

T-Mobile’s data breach is the latest high-profile cyberattack as digital thieves take advantage of weakened security from work-from-home policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, cryptocurrency platform Poly Network lost $610 million (about Rs 4,530 crore) in a hack and later offered a $500,000 (about Rs 3.7 crore) “bug bounty” to the hacker.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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