Analecta Cyber Company Blog: Experian says 15M had data stolen in hack of T-Mobile

2015-10-29

Experian says 15M had data stolen in hack of T-Mobile

One of the latest high-profile breaches involves mobile phone carrier T-Mobile. Hackers were able to obtain the personal information for approximately 15 million T-Mobile customers, including Social Security numbers, home addresses and birth dates.



There have been several high-profile hacks on businesses and other organizations in recent years that have affected millions of people. These includes adultery website Ashley Madison, Sony Pictures, health insurer Anthem, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and others. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, U.S.-based organizations alone reported nearly 800 data breaches last year.

The hackers gained access to the customer information through Experian, a credit reporting agency that T-Mobile uses to check customers' credit when they apply for a phone plan or financing for devices. Experian reported that customers who applied for a T-Mobile plan from Sept. 1, 2013 to Sept. 16, 2015 may have had their information stolen. Experian added that the company has notified law enforcement and that there was no evidence of inappropriate use of the compromised information.

T-Mobile’s CEO expressed his anger about the breach and said the company would review its relationship with Experian. A spokeswoman for Bellevue, Washington-based T-Mobile said the hack that happened on Experian’s server is currently being investigated.

Experian issued a statement saying the identity of the hackers behind the breach was still unknown and the company is taking necessary measures to prevent future breaches.The company warned affected customers to remain vigilant against identity theft and watch for phishing email scams asking for sensitive information.

The CEO of the non profit Identity Theft Resource Center supported this stance. While payment card and banking information may not have been affected, consumers should not ignore the significance of other stolen information such as the Social Security numbers. She added that affected consumers should consistently review their credit reports and consider signing up for a credit monitoring service with fraud alerts.