A hacker has stolen the personal details of 15 million T-Mobile customers in the US.
The data breach occurred at Experian, the organisation that processes the mobile network’s credit applications.
Although no payment details were taken, it was thought that the hacker obtained the name, address, social security number, date of birth and identification number of customers who were credit-checked by the company between September 1 2013 and September 16 2015.
Experian said the social security and ID numbers were encrypted, but it had reason to believe that this may have been compromised.
“I am incredibly angry about this data breach and we will institute a thorough review of our relationship with Experian, but right now my top concern and first focus is assisting any and all consumers affected,” T-Mobiles chief executive John Legere (above) said in a statement.
“Experian has assured us that they have taken aggressive steps to improve the protection of their system and of our data.”
He went on to note that the breach did not affect T-Mobile’s own systems or network.
Experian said it discovered that it was compromised on September 15 2015 after which it notified federal and international law enforcement agencies.
The company is notifying individuals who may have been affected and will offer them free credit monitoring and identity resolution services for two years.
So far, no unauthorised use of the stolen data has been detected although this will be continuously monitored.
Experian said it had launched an investigation to discover who was behind the attacks. Meanwhile it is ‘hardening’ its IT security in order to prevent further incidences of this type in the future.
The US government recently admitted that 5.6 million fingerprints of employees working at the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Defense were stolen in a similar attack on government servers.