What contractors should take from T-Mobile’s ‘100million people’ cybersecurity breach

T-Mobile is Warning that a data breach has exposed the names, date of birth, Social Security number and driver’s license/ID information of more than 40 million current, former or prospective customers who applied for credit with the company. Get Secured Now with Norton 360

Do you use T-Mobile as part of your contracting operations?

If so, you may be impacted by a huge T-Mobile security breach.

In fact, even though the US brand is synonymous with mobile phones, it’s not just handheld customers who are affected– if you use the company’s other services like cloud storage or as a tool for providing services to your clients as a contractor, you’re still likely to be impacted – that’s how big this breach is, writes Leila Saidi and Alix Balsan of Gerrish Legal.

What happened at T-Mobile?

On Monday August 16th, the Bellevue-based telecom company confirmed reports which first surfaced on Motherboard that it had been hit by a cybersecurity breach – presumably some time during the first two weeks of August 2021.

In its cybersecurity update dated August 16th, T-Mobile admitted that an unauthorised access to some of its data had occurred – but, frustratingly for customers, that it was unable to confirm if any personal data was involved.

In an update published the next day, T-Mobile admitted that a preliminary analysis had revealed that as many as 7.8 million current T-Mobile customers were impacted, as well as just over 40 million records of former or prospective customers. And as part of its most recent update (August 19th), T-Mobile explained that although the exact nature of the personal data that had been compromised could vary by individual, information included individuals’ names, drivers’ licences, government identification numbers, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and T-Mobile account PINs.

That amounts to a massive cybersecurity breach. The company added that approximately 850,000 active T-Mobile prepaid customer names, phone numbers and account PINs were also exposed. That compares to the claims of hackers who reportedly put the total number of T-Mobile customers affected by the breach at 100 million. The company has not agreed to that figure, indicating instead that it’s more like half that number of customers who have been exposed.

The T-Mobile data breach: possible implications for contractors

What could all this mean for you as an IT, data or telecoms contractor – especially in relation to your security and…