T-Mobile hacker claims responsibility for the breach. Here’s how to protect your data

Be proactive whether or not you are a victim of this particular hack.

James Martin / CNET

The alleged hacker behind the latest T-Mobile cyberattack has denounced the August hack. The violation includes names, driver’s license numbers, social security numbers, and device identification numbers (IMEI and IMSI) for subscribers, former customers, and even potential customers who may have been interested in the T-Mobile service. Metro by T-Mobile could also be impacted.

John Brinns, the 21-year-old who claims responsibility for the hack, detailed the breach, which affected more than 54 million people, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Brinns explained that the key to the cyberattack was one of T-Mobile’s unprotected routers and weak spots in the company’s internet addresses that apparently gave him access to more than 100 servers. He was able to access the data on August 4; T-Mobile reported the attack on August 16.

Since the attack, the wireless carrier now offers free identity theft protection, advanced spam blocking and access to its takeover protection service to protect postpaid customers from theft. their phone numbers. The company also reset PIN codes for all prepaid customers after 850,000 accounts were exposed, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert wrote in a blog post that there is “no indication.” that financial data like credit card or other payment information has been compromised and stated that “there is no ongoing risk to customer data due to this breach”. Brinns, however, did not tell the Journal if he sold the data or if he was paid to commit the breach, which could be a bigger issue for those affected.

If you are concerned, you can read our guide to check if your password is on the dark web. We will also keep you posted on a possible class action lawsuit against T-Mobile. Here are some steps you can take to protect your sensitive data from being hacked, whether or not your information has been included in a number of data breaches.


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Lock in your credit with all three credit bureaus

One of the first things to do is freeze your credit. This will prevent anyone with your information from opening a line of credit or taking out loans on your behalf. Freezing your credit won’t take long: you just have to fill out a form with Equifax, Experiential and Transunion (one from each company) to apply.

The downside to freezing your credit is that when you want to make certain purchases, like upgrading your iPhone, you will need to go through the process of brief deletion of your credit freeze and then refreezing when you are done.

Yes, it is embarrassing. But the extra time you take to freeze, thaw and then re-freeze your credit is worth it and is paltry compared to the time you would spend trying to fix the damage caused by someone opening a credit card or line of credit. in your name.

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Lock everything you can whenever you can.

Angela Lang / CNET

Use a credit monitoring service

Staying on top of what’s on your credit report is an easy way to make sure someone isn’t misusing your information. Some companies offer free credit monitoring to victims of a data breach, but this is often only temporary. For example, T-Mobile is offering two years of McAfee Identity Theft Protection service free of charge to those affected by the latest breach. Take advantage of offers like this if your data is included in a breach, but once the limited time offer expires, be ready to sign up for another service.

There are many credit monitoring services that help you monitor your credit report and use one could mean you’ll get an alert and hopefully catch the fake accounts as soon as they happen.

Sign up for Identity Theft Watch

Monitoring your credit report is an important step to take; however, there is so much more that can be done with your personal information. In addition to keeping an eye on your social security number and credit, a identity check service will monitor the dark web for anyone selling or trading your personal information or making arrests on your behalf. It should give you comfort if someone tries to do anything with your personal information.

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1Password is one of the many password managers that protect your information.

1 Password

Store your login details with a password manager

Using a unique, strong password for each online account you have is an easy way to ensure that a breach of a service does not cause malicious people to gain access to more of your online accounts. line where you used the same password.

Instead of reusing a password – or a series of passwords – rely on a password manager to create, store and automatically fill in your login information. T-Mobile also shares best practices for resetting PINs and passwords with customers to protect their data and connections.

Do not wait any longer to protect your personal data

The most important aspect of taking action after reporting a hack or a breach is not to wait for the affected companies to announce how they want you to handle it. Be proactive. Ultimately, it’s your information and your financial future that is at stake.

After you’ve locked your credit and started monitoring services, start looking at suggestions from affected companies.

Some breaches lead to regulations, forcing the company to offer free services or regulations, as in the case of Equifax 2017.

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