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Data Breach on AT&T Rattles Millions

Introduction

Do you use AT&T as your primary telecom provider? Do you know someone who does? Then you need to know what’s just happened to your data.

Recently, the popular telecommunications company has been in the news due to a data breach that exposed sensitive customer information and caused potential financial losses. If you may have been one of the 9M customers affected, you’ll want to read on.

What Happened to Your Data?

It’s the latest in a rash of attacks against third-party suppliers, which trickle down to major companies like AT&T. Threat actors have been able to gain access to databases which may have been too difficult to break into directly.

Currently, AT&T provide services to over 100M customers, and have been in operation for more than a century. They have a lot of resources to develop cyber-defenses, but none of that matters if their suppliers are compromised.

Meanwhile, their internal databases do not appear to have been affected. The threat actors did, however, manage to steal information on nearly one out of every ten customers. Exposed information includes names, account information, phone numbers and emails.

The company has taken steps to mitigate the damage and protect its customers’ data by implementing new security measures and increasing its focus on cyber safety. In the past, they’ve also provided customers who were potentially affected by data leaks with free credit monitoring services.

What’s Next For Your Data?

Beware that you may be the subject of phishing attempts in the coming months, as cybercriminals could have gleaned enough information about you from the stolen data to send legitimate-looking scams.

Keep an eye out for more recommendations and updates about the breach that might come from AT&T (although, be careful it’s really them and not a phishing email!). As their investigation with the authorities continues, they could find out more information that YOU need to know about, or which may require additional action on your part to secure your log-ins and data. In the meantime, it may be a good idea to change your AT&T log-in credentials anyway.

Remember, threat actors haven’t got their hands on your most private data yet. Use multi-factor authentication to help protect your accounts, and use complex passwords with at least 12 characters. You should also change your password at least every two months!

Conclusion

Unfortunately, breaches on third-party suppliers and on telecommunication companies are both on the rise. Similar attacks have been happening all over the world, from the Telus breach in Canada to the Australian breach against Optus to the homefront attacks on Google Fi and T-Mobile. These have all occurred within the past six months. Supply chains and the telecom industry seem to be staring down a cybercrime epidemic.

What can you do? Keep your security awareness strong. Report suspicious behavior when you see it, either online or in the office itself. Monitor your accounts, bank statements and credit if you may have been affected. Talk to your IT provider about best practices and what to do before you act. When in doubt, err on the side of caution.

By reading this blog, you’ve already taken your first step to better security awareness!

References

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