A T-Mobile data breach may have exposed the personal information of about 15 million customers, although the company said no credit card data was stolen.
A company vendor that processes T-Mobile credit applications, Experian, was hacked and information on credit applications was stolen, CEO John Legere posted Thursday in an open letter to customers.
"Obviously 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," he wrote. "This is no small issue for us. I do want to assure our customers that neither T-Mobile’s systems nor network were part of this intrusion and this did not involve any payment card numbers or bank account information."
Data that may have been accessed during the breach included names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and ID numbers, usually a driver's license or passport number, Legere wrote.
Experian said none of its other customers were affected
by the data breach, which occurred between Sept. 1, 2013, and Sept. 16, 2015. Company CEO Craig Boundy said on the Experian website that its credit bureau business was not impacted. All authorities, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, were notified to conduct a criminal investigation into the hack.
In 2014, USA Today reported that 43 percent
of companies had a data breach in the preceding year. The newspaper referred to a study done by security experts at the Ponemon Institute, in conjunction with Experian's data breach resolution group.
"Particularly beginning with last quarter in 2013, and now with all the retail breaches this year, the size had gone exponentially up," Experian's Michael Bruemmer said at the time.
The study highlighted the fact that few companies have a plan in place to deal with breaches.
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