A data breach on a credit agency has compromised the personal data of about 15 million T-Mobile customers and applicants, and T-Mobile CEO John Legere is 'incredibly angry' about it.
The company that the hackers targeted, Experian, said that is suffered a data breach which exposed personal information that includes names, dates of birth, home addresses, drivers' license numbers and Social Security numbers.
Payment information such as credit card data, however, were not a part of the data breach, according to Experian.
"Based on Experian's investigation to date, the unauthorized access was an isolated incident over a limited period of time. It included access to a server that contained identifying information for some organizations and, primarily, personal information for individuals, including some current customers and consumers who applied for T-Mobile USA postpaid services or device financing, which require a credit check, from Sept. 1, 2013 through Sept. 16, 2015," Experian explained in an emailed statement.
The compromised data come from customers that sent in an application for a postpaid plan under T-Mobile between Sept. 1, 2013 and Sept. 16 of this year. T-Mobile uses Experian when conducting credit checks on applicants, with Experian storing customer data as it determines whether the applicant qualifies for the service or the promotion being applied for.
"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," said Legere in a post on the company's official website, adding that he takes the privacy of T-mobile's customers very seriously.
Legere also said that Experian has sent an assurance to the wireless carrier that the credit agency is taking aggressive measures for the improvement of their systems for added protection on T-Mobile customer information.
Experian has taken responsibility for the data breach, stating in a post on its official website that hackers infiltrated a network server that contained the personal information.
While there is no indication that the information that the hackers acquired is being used for inappropriate purposes, the credit agency is starting to notify the people that had their information compromised.
Experian noted that the exposed information could possibly lead to cases of identity theft, and as such has offered two years of free credit monitoring and identity resolution services to customers that have been affected by the data breach.
It is unclear what the hackers would do with the stolen data, though such information usually goes for sale on black markets. The stolen information could then be organized to create a large and searchable database that could be used for identity theft, which could lead to ruined credit, stolen tax refunds, and worse.
Photo: Mike Mozart | Flickr