A report published recently revealed that an unknown number of AT&T Mobility customers were hit by a major data breach. The carrier itself acknowledge the breach this week in a filing with regulators in California. It said that this incident took place between April 9 and April 21 and ended up compromising customer records and their personal information. No explanation was offered as to why it took AT&T so long to reveal that this had happened.
As previously mentioned, AT&T didn’t reveal how many of its customers were affected by the data breach. However state law in California dictates that such disclosures be made if at least 500 customers are affected. AT&T did reveal that the breach was caused by a third party contractor that violated its security protocols and accessed customer data which includes records of phone calls and social security numbers.
Further explaining the breach, AT&T told affected customers in an email that this probably happened because the aforementioned employees were trying to request unlock codes from the carrier. Cellphones provided by carriers often have a software lock that stops users from using the device on another network. Users can request an unlock code when they need one, like when traveling abroad, to open up the device.
However once the phones are unlocked their value increases in the second-hand market as they’re capable of operating on both AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S, apart from almost all major networks around the world.
AT&T says that it has taken steps to “help prevent this from happening again,” adding that it has reported this matter to law enforcement agencies.