The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said on Wednesday that it will investigate a data breach disclosed by T-Mobile US, affecting more than 47 million current, former and potential customers.
The third-largest wireless operator in the United States said that personal data, including social security numbers and driver’s license information, from more than 40 million former and potential customers was stolen along with data from 7.8 million wireless customers. from existing T-Mobile.
Birthdates, first and last names were also stolen, the telecom operator said, adding that there was no indication that its financial data had been compromised.
“Telecommunications companies have a duty to protect their customers’ information. The FCC is aware of reports of data breaches affecting T-Mobile customers and we are investigating,” an FCC spokesman told Reuters.
The company, which had 104.8 million customers in June, acknowledged the data breach on Sunday after US digital media Vice reported that a seller posted on a clandestine forum offering private data, including social security numbers. of a violation on T-Mobile Servers.
T-Mobile also said that approximately 850,000 prepaid customer names, phone numbers and active T-Mobile account PINs were also exposed.
In 2015, AT&T agreed to pay a fine of $25 million (approximately Rs. 185 crores) to resolve an FCC investigation into consumer privacy violations in AT&T’s call centers.
Vice said the seller claimed that 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 crores).
Later reports suggested that the asking price had fallen and all the data was selling for just $200 (about Rs. 14,860).
Reuters was unable to verify the veracity of the forum post.
T-Mobile’s data breach is the latest high-profile cyber attack as digital thieves take advantage of security weakened by work-at-home policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this month, the Poly Network cryptocurrency platform lost $610 million (about Rs. 4,530 crores) in a hack and later offered the hacker or hackers a “bug reward” of $500,000 (about Rs. 3.7 crores).
© Thomson Reuters 2021