T-Mobile, one of the United States' most popular and controversial wireless carriers, announced on August 24, 2018, that a variety of personal information was exposed for its entire subscriber base.
Any security breach should be handled with the utmost care and caution, and to help you understand what exactly is going on, here's a quick breakdown of everything you need to know.
Per a statement that T-Mobile issued on its website:
On August 20, our cyber-security team discovered and shut down an unauthorized access to certain information, including yours, and we promptly reported it to authorities.
T-Mobile doesn't explain who was behind the attack, but it's clear that someone (or a group of people) was trying to obtain data that didn't belong to them.
What information was exposed?
As a result of this, the following information was exposed:
- Billing address
- ZIP code
- Phone number
- Email address
- Account number
- Account type (prepaid or postpaid)
It's unclear if all of this info was exposed for every single customer, with T-Mobile simply stating that it, "may have included one or more of the following."
In its press release, T-Mobile says that social security numbers, passwords, and credit card info were all untouched. However, a representative from the company later told Motherboard that "encrypted passwords" were compromised.
What you should do
Should you have any additional questions about the attack, T-Mobile recommends contacting its customer care team. T-Mobile customers can do this by calling 611 or chatting with a rep through the My T-Mobile app.
Also, since the security of passwords is up in the air, it's a good idea to reset your password even through we're getting conflicting reports from T-Mobile.
If you aren't already using a password manager, we highly recommend changing that. Not only does this make it easier to remember all of your passwords, but it also greatly increases the security of your online accounts. Similarly, two-factor authentication is also a great resource to look into.
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Updated 4:37 PM ET: Updated with T-Mobile rep statement about encrypted passwords being compromised.
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