AT&T Launches Probe into Massive Data Breach: 73 Million Affected

AT&T has initiated a comprehensive investigation following the discovery of a significant data breach impacting an estimated 73 million current and former customers.

by Faruk Imamovic
SHARE
AT&T Launches Probe into Massive Data Breach: 73 Million Affected
© Getty Images/Ronald Martinez

AT&T has initiated a comprehensive investigation following the discovery of a significant data breach impacting an estimated 73 million current and former customers. The telecommunications behemoth revealed in a press release early Saturday that personal information was made public on the dark web about two weeks ago, including sensitive details such as Social Security numbers of account holders.

The origin of the data—whether directly from AT&T or through one of its vendors—remains uncertain at this point. The company clarified, "Currently, AT&T does not have evidence of unauthorized access to its systems resulting in exfiltration of the data set." This suggests that the breach might involve a third-party vendor or another indirect source.

According to the information available, the leaked data appears to be from 2019 or earlier and does not encompass financial details or call history specifics.

Response and Recommendations for Customers

In light of the breach, AT&T is actively contacting approximately 7.6 million current and 65.4 million former account holders who might be affected by this incident.

The company is advising its customers to reset their account passcodes as a precautionary measure. Furthermore, AT&T is emphasizing the importance of vigilance regarding any changes to their accounts or credit reports. To assist those potentially impacted, AT&T has pledged to provide credit monitoring services at no additional cost where applicable.

The initial alert regarding a possible data leak came to AT&T around two weeks ago, with the news first breaking on March 17 through a post by the vx-underground account on the X platform. AT&T's initial response to inquiries about the breach was to affirm the security of its systems.

The company stated to CNN, "We have no indications of a compromise of our systems. We determined in 2021 that the information offered on this online forum did not appear to have come from our systems." AT&T also suggested that the dataset in question might have been recycled across forums, indicating the information could have been previously exposed or discussed in similar contexts.

SHARE