T-Mobile Data Breach: Wake-Up Call for Us All

Posted on in Cybersecurity

From the Desk of Carol Albaugh

Do not become complacent. On the heels of the T-Mobile data breach and others we remember all too well, Target, Anthem, Equifax-- incidents are becoming all too common.

What happened?

Today, T-Mobile announced more than two million people may have had their information stolen.

How did this happen?

Without giving specifics, T-Mobile identified the hackers as part of an international group. The hackers were able to exploit an internal API (application programming interface) on its servers that contained personal information of customers. APIs are regularly used for two systems to securely communicate between each other, including registration, billing or electronic medical record systems.

Why should you care?

Anytime your Personal identifiable information (PII) has been breached, especially your password, hackers can modify your accounts, place orders and use your information elsewhere to open additional accounts and credit cards, thus destroying your credit score.

T-Mobile states that no social security numbers or credit card information was compromised, but the hackers were able to steal the following information.

  • Billing address
  • ZIP code
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Account number
  • Account type (prepaid or postpaid)
  • Encrypted passwords

What you should do?

Anytime your information has been compromised in a breach it would be a mistake to do nothing. It's important to be proactive and do the following things:

  • Monitor your accounts looking for charges you didn't make. If you see one, alert your bank immediately.
  • Change your passwords -- not just on the affected account but also on any others that use the same password.
  • Make sure your password contains numbers, letters and special characters, capitalized and lower case.

If cybercriminals tried to hack your business records, are you confident your network infrastructure and devices are secure? If not, VGM Secure Tech is here to perform a free security review and consultation.

Contact me at 319-874-4797 or by email at [email protected].

Carol Albaugh is a security professional with VGM specializing in technology and security services for businesses in the health care, hospitality and golf club industries.