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T-Mobile ends 2020 on a decidedly low note with yet another big ‘security incident’

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UPDATE: Shortly after publishing our original story below, T-Mobile’s media relations department has reached out to share a very encouraging number highlighting the relatively small scale (in the grand scheme of things) of this newly revealed security breach.

While Magenta isn’t willing to go so far as to explicitly confirm the exact number of users directly impacted by the incident, the wireless service provider is only “notifying less than 0.2%” of its customers about the issue detailed earlier today.

That’s not nothing, mind you, given that said customer base recently jumped over the 100-million mark, possibly equating to around 200,000 people across the nation. But it’s also not a debacle in any way similar to the absolutely massive network outage from last summer.

Compared to so many other companies and businesses, not to mention most regular people, T-Mobile has had a pretty solid year, overcoming numerous legal, logistical, and technological obstacles in 2020 to close a vital merger, surpass AT&T’s subscriber figures, and expand its industry-leading 5G network at an objectively insane pace.

Your most sensitive and precious information is (probably) safe

Fortunately, it looks like you don’t have to worry about names on T-Mobile accounts, physical or email addresses, financial data, credit card info, social security numbers, tax ID, passwords, or PINs potentially falling into the wrong hands (at least as a result of this particular cyber attack).

 

Instead, all that an unnamed group of hackers was able to obtain is “customer proprietary network information (CPNI) as defined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules.” That may include phone numbers, as well as the number of lines associated to certain accounts, and in “some cases”, call-related information gathered “as part of the normal operation of your wireless service.”

In other words, this security incident was slightly less serious than a few similar breaches reported in the recent (and not-so-recent) past, including by T-Mobile’s competition. Still, in an ideal world, these things would never happen, and in any world, it’s important to treat each and every potentially dangerous situation with the utmost seriousness.

All that being said, you should keep in mind that those who haven’t received a security alert text from T-Mo in the last 24 hours or so were most likely never affected by the data breach in the first place, which is said to have gone down at some point last month.

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