Author Topic: AT&T data breaches revealed: 280K US customers exposed  (Read 1050 times)

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Offline iamusul

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AT&T data breaches revealed: 280K US customers exposed
« on: April 08, 2015, 07:24:23 PM »

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102570147


TELECOM
AT&T data breaches revealed: 280K US customers exposed
Everett Rosenfeld   | @Ev_Rosenfeld
5 Hours Ago


AT&T data breaches exposed about 280,000 U.S. customers' names and full or partial Social Security numbers, the government said.


The company agreed to pay a $25 million civil penalty to settle an Federal Communications Commission investigation into the consumer privacy violations, the agency said


Wednesday.


The breaches occurred at call centers used by AT&T in Mexico, Colombia, and the Philippines when employees accessed sensitive customer data without adequate authorization.


Those employees took payment from third parties who were apparently interested in customer names and Social Security numbers so they could unlock stolen cell phones for sale


on secondary markets, the FCC said.


The investigation found that three call center employees in Mexico accessed more than 68,000 accounts without authorization, so the third parties could submit more than


290,000 unlock requests through an AT&T online portal, the agency said. Over the course of the investigation into that breach, the FCC also discovered that approximately 40


company employees in the Philippines and Colombia had accessed about 211,000 customer accounts for the same illicit purposes.
"As the nation's expert agency on communications networks, the Commission cannot—and will not—stand idly by when a carrier's lax data security practices expose the personal


information of hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable Americans to identity theft and fraud," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a press release.


As part of its settlement with the FCC, AT&T agreed to notify all customers whose accounts were improperly accessed, and to pay for credit monitoring services for those


customers affected by the breaches in Colombia and the Philippines, the agency said.


The telecom also assented to improving its security practices and regularly filing compliance reports to the FCC, according to the release.


Read MoreAT&T shareholders should rejoice at Dow removal
"Protecting customer privacy is critical to us. We hold ourselves and our vendors to a high standard," an AT&T spokesman told CNBC.


He added that the company is terminating some of its vendor sites "as appropriate." AT&T has changed some security policies and is reaching out to affected customers to


provide additional information, he confirmed.
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Offline icrcc

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Re: AT&T data breaches revealed: 280K US customers exposed
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2015, 07:30:36 PM »
Good to know that our data is safe.  ::)
It may never happen. Best to be prepared just in case.

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Offline JustABear

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Re: AT&T data breaches revealed: 280K US customers exposed
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2015, 08:10:55 PM »
Undoubtedly AT&T will make more than the fine they had to pay. The flaw and sad reality in all of this is that being offshore entities and employees what is to stop this happening over and over again? Where is the intervention that will effectively safeguard customer data? The answer is nowhere. ALL corporations that deal with federal data both in the US and in Canada should be made to maintain ALL of their data operations in their parent countries and NOT accessible by any yahoo in whatever country. Only in this way would it be possible to fully prosecute any illegal action and perpetrator.
THERE ARE NO PROBLEMS... ONLY OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOLUTIONS

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Offline icrcc

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Re: AT&T data breaches revealed: 280K US customers exposed
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2015, 10:36:48 AM »
Oh dear you are sounding a tad isolationist. :o  What about contracting out? That about the global economy? It would collapse and we would all surely die. :-\

Our data, your data, my data, corporate data and the government's data can never be truly secure or private. Data is created by man and it is encrypted  man therefore it can be decrypted by man a fact as immutable as a sunrise will be followed by a sunset. We can always develop clever ways to keep our data safe but there are always those who are just as clever driven by geed for money or power that are trying to defeat the system.

Keeping the data in in its parent country would not solve the problem but it would help and be a step in the right direction. While not all perpetrators would be apprehended some would and that alone would stand as a deterrent. You know how the banks strongly urge us not to share our PIN for our bank cards with anyone? Well it is too bad that they will not take their own advice.
It may never happen. Best to be prepared just in case.

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Offline JustABear

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Re: AT&T data breaches revealed: 280K US customers exposed
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2015, 01:00:18 PM »
The data in the articles was not 'hacked' nor 'decrypted'. It was stolen by employees of the company that was entrusted to maintain it's integrity. This to me demonstrates that the company itself does not have adequate safeguards in place to vet employees and to monitor unauthorized access to data and detect it in a timely manner. AT&T will continue to make much more $$$ by outsourcing than they will pay in this fine. I agree that nothing can stop a determined thief but the penalties wold be much higher and the chance of boing caught higher in a Western country. The only real way to reduce the risk of data mining is to minimize the amount of data you have 'out there'. Some, such as government and corporate you have little opportunity for reduction. Personal data on the other hand CAN be mitigated through less use of social media and increased use of cash transactions.
THERE ARE NO PROBLEMS... ONLY OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOLUTIONS

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