What to do if there is a T-Mobile data breach?


A ‘bad actor’ obtained customer data — including phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth and more — linked to 37 million T-Mobile accounts, the wireless carrier says in an organizational fileThis week.

The identity of this “representative”, which has not been made public, is believed to have gained access to customer data around November 25, last year. T-Mobile did not notice the intrusion until January 5, however.

Unfortunately, dealing with these types of violations is nothing new for the company — or its customers.

T-Mobile has had to deal with several high-profile attacks in recent times. Including the 2021 incidentExperts at the time called it “the worst breach they’ve ever committed”. Full names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, as well as information from drivers’ licences and unique identifiers of customers were all leaked. This put more than 40 million people at risk of identity theft.

The attack that was revealed this week seems to have been much less severe. According to the company’s investigation, no funds or customer accounts were directly compromised by the attack.

T-Mobile customers need to take the time to rethink their interactions with the company. Here are some things to do if you feel that your interactions with T-Mobile, past or present, have left your personal data vulnerable.

Change your password/PIN

T-Mobile informs customers that their account passwords and PINs are safe. It is worth taking the time and verifying your passwords. Strong as it should be.

Because of the personal information that can be made available by data breaches like these, an attacker can gain access to your T Mobile account. If an attacker gains access, they will likely gain access to many more.

said James E. Lee, COO Identity Theft Resource Center. “They want credentials, as that’s what they can use for entry into other systems.”

Although this latest hack gives access to fewer customer data (and less harmful) than the last, it could still be useful to attackers who wish to take advantage your credit. Adam Levine, a personal finance and identity theft expert, advises that affected clients freeze their credit reports.

You’ll have to contact each of the three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—about your requests, but a credit freeze is completely free, doesn’t affect your credit score, and prevents anyone with your personal information (including you) from opening new lines of credit without notice. Securely “Thaw” everything first.

Lee agreed wholeheartedly, stating that freezing credit is “the most important preventive measure you can take” and that there are very few downsides.

Learn more or get started freezing your credit reports by visiting EquifaxAnd ExperianAnd Transunion websites.

Rethink two factor authentication

Two-factor authentication may be enabled on some accounts if you are even moderately security-conscious. The problem is that if you are concerned about your data being compromised in this breach, you might want to reconsider how you use two factor authentication (2FA).

Let’s say an attacker manages to get your name, date of birth, and address—if they get lucky and find your reused Social Security number and password in other data dumps, that might be enough to give them access to your T-Mobile account. You could be subject to the “Affairs Act” if this happens. SIM swap attackWhere the hacker can take control of your phone number and transfer it to another phone that he controls.

This is a serious problem, but what could make it worse are the verification codes sent via text messages by services such as Amazon, Twitter, and many other banks. The keys to your kingdom can then be transferred directly to another person via the Internet.

Lee suggests one possible solution: If you can, use authentication apps from companies such as Microsoft and Google that live on your phone. He said that simply sending an email or text to your phone is not enough to make it secure. “We always recommend that consumers and the companies that provide it are used.”

Keep an eye on the situation

T-Mobile is still investigating, but today the company released a statement saying that “the malicious activity appears not to have been fully contained at the time.”

This investigation could yield new findings. It is important to stay informed. T-Mobile confirmed that the company’s data breach in 2021 was much larger than it had reported, days after the initial public disclosure. T-Mobile’s 2021 data breach has been confirmed. Keep an eye on your account(s) to ensure you are up-to-date on any new updates.

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