It’s bad news for T-Mobile. Merging with Sprint didn’t stop it from being hacked. The third-largest cell carrier company in the United States, T-Mobile, announced in a notice on its website that it suffered its fourth data breach in two years. Yet, the company is insisting it takes the security of its customers’ information seriously. T-Mobile customers may have a thing or two to say about that.
This is also the second data breach in a year for T-Mobile, and now it has even more customer data to protect after its recent $26 billion merger with Sprint. The company announced in the notice on its website that it had recently discovered some customers’ account information had been accessed without authorization.
“Our cybersecurity team recently discovered and shut down malicious, unauthorized access to some information related to your T-Mobile account,” reads the notice on the company’s website.
“We immediately started an investigation, with assistance from leading cybersecurity forensics experts, to determine what happened and what information was involved. We also immediately reported this matter to federal law enforcement and are now in the process of notifying impacted customers.”
The information that was accessed can include call records. This is known as customer proprietary network information. It can include the time and duration of calls and the phone numbers of both people participating in the call.
Customers shouldn’t worry too much, as the hackers didn’t get names, street addresses, or email addresses to connect to the phone numbers. Financial data and account passwords weren’t accessed either in the data breach, according to T-Mobile.
T-Mobile History of Data Breaches
A T-Mobile spokesperson said the data breach took placed in early December 2020. Approximately 200,000 customers were affected, which is only 0.2 percent of all its customers. Perhaps this is why the company didn’t make a louder announcement about this data breach. Earlier breaches saw exponentially more customers affected.
The company suffered another data breach, but to its email systems, earlier in the year. Some customer data was exposed when the hackers gained access to some employee email accounts. This was after unauthorized access to a possible two million customers in 2018. The next year, another million prepaid phone customers had their data accessed.
This isn’t the only issue customers need to worry about. Last month it was announced that older phones will stop working with its service later in 2021.