Telecommunications giant T-Mobile announced Thursday that potentially sensitive data involving about 15 million of its customers may have been compromised by a hacker, via a credit bureau the company uses to process applications.
T-Mobile and Experian said the breach subjected the private information to hackers for a period of two years.
“I’ve always said that part of being the un-carrier means telling it like it is. Whether it’s good news or bad, I’m going to be direct, transparent and honest,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said Thursday. “We have been notified by Experian, a vendor that processes our credit applications, that they have experienced a data breach.”
Experian said it immediately began investigating the matter, but noted that the breach did not impact its consumer credit bureau.
“The data acquired included names, dates of birth, addresses, and Social Security numbers and/or an alternative form of ID like a drivers’ license number, as well as additional information used in T-Mobile’s own credit assessment. No payment card or banking information was acquired,” the credit bureau said in a news release.
“We take privacy very seriously and we understand that this news is both stressful and frustrating. We sincerely apologize for the concern and stress that this event may cause,” said Craig Boundy, Chief Executive Officer of Experian North America.
“The investigation is ongoing, but what we know right now is that the hacker acquired the records of approximately 15 million people, including new applicants requiring a credit check for service or device financing from September 1, 2013 through September 16, 2015,” Legere added.
Anyone who applied for T-Mobile service in the United States between those dates is potentially affected, officials said. Experian and T-Mobile said they will provide two years of free credit monitoring for those customers.
“Obviously I am incredibly angry about this data breach,” Legere said.
SOURCE: Doug G. Ware