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AT&T Data Breach Impacts Over 70 Million Accounts

The company says it has launched a 'robust investigation' into the incident

AT&T Data Breach Impacts Over 70 Million Accounts

At least 73 million AT&T accounts were impacted by a data breach in March after private information was posted on the Dark Web.

The company confirmed on March 30 that 7.6 current customers were impacted by the security as well as 65.4 million account holders. The telecommunications company said “it is not yet known whether the data in those fields originated from AT&T or one of its vendors.”

“AT&T has launched a robust investigation supported by internal and external cybersecurity experts. Based on our preliminary analysis, the data set appears to be from 2019 or earlier,” the company said in a statement. “Currently, AT&T does not have evidence of unauthorized access to its systems resulting in exfiltration of the data set. The company is communicating proactively with those impacted and will be offering credit monitoring at our expense where applicable.”

Impacted current customers’ passcodes are being reset and the company plans to contact former customers whose data was compromised.

The data breach is the latest in a series of security failures that have impacted AT&T.

In 2019, the United States Department of Justice charged a group of AT&T employees for carrying out a phone unlocking  scheme between 2012 and 2017. Two Pakistani men were charged with offering a total of $1 million in bribes to AT&T employees to induce them to unlock more than 2 million devices.

Hackers listed the data of more than 70 million AT&T customers for sale in August of 2021 although the company denied the information was authentic or stolen from its systems. In August of 2022, the company announced that 23 million customers had their private data – including social security numbers and date of birth – stolen. 

A significant amount of the customer information shows birth years of 2000, which suggests the data was acquired in 2018, based on the age requirement for getting an account,” reported Firewall Times.

The private information of at least 9 million wireless customers was compromised after a cyberattack on one of its third party vendors in March of 2023.

AT&T is by no means the only U.S. telecommunications provider with a history of compromised customer data. The issue is rife across the industry,” reports NPR. “A 2023 data breach affected 37 million T-Mobile customers. Just last month, a data leak at Verizon impacted more than 63,000 people, the majority of them Verizon employees.”

Individuals impacted by the latest data breach have been advised to monitor their credit reports and to watch for new financial accounts opened in their names. Customers that were not impacted by the data breach are advised to reset their passcode as a precautionary measure.

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