T-Mobile Sparks Data Security Fears

 

T-Mobile has again hit the news as an undisclosed number of its UK subscribers that have unknowingly had their personal data sold on to third parties. In what looks like an inside job, It seems that unscrupulous employees have been collating details and selling them on to middlemen for unspecified sums of money. By selling on the data, it allowed other companies to call these people unsolicited, prior to their contracts finishing and offer them alternative deals on other networks.

If caught, the punishment offences of this type is only financial, leading to some stating that a prison sentence must be introduced to both deter future instances, and deal with the culprits in a manner that fits the crime. Hopefully T-Mobile have now initiated a clamp-down on date storage and accessibility, and more importantly will offer an apology to those affected, and maybe even a better deal if they stay with the network. Personally I have a feeling that those subscribers may have a hard time trusting the networks security measures in the long run, regardless of any actions they take. After all personal data can be misused in so many ways from identity theft to online fraud.

Earlier this year T-Mobile’s internal systems were allegedly hacked in the US and the date offered to the highest bidder. It was claimed that everything from their databases, confidential documents, scripts and programs from their servers were stolen. T-Mobile has officially acknowledged the breach, and quickly put out a number of statements: –

“To reaffirm, the protection of our customers’ information and the security of our systems is paramount at T-Mobile. Regarding the recent claim on a Web site, we’ve identified the document from which information was copied, and believe possession of this alone is not enough to cause harm to our customers. We continue to investigate the matter, and have taken additional precautionary measures to further ensure our customers’ information and our systems are protected. At this moment, we are unable to disclose additional information in order to protect the integrity of the investigation, but customers can be assured if there is any evidence that customer information has been compromised, we would inform those affected as quickly as possible.”

And another: –

“Following a recent online posting that an alleged hacker apparently accessed T-Mobile servers, the company is conducting a thorough investigation and at this time has found no evidence that customer information, or other company information, has been compromised. Reports to the contrary are inaccurate and should be corrected. T-Mobile continues to monitor this situation and as a precaution has taken additional measures to further ensure our customers’ information and our systems are protected. As is our standard practice, customers can be assured if there is any evidence that customer or system information has been compromised, we would inform those affected as quickly as possible.”

While these statements seem to deny in most part that anything of substance was actually stolen, combined with what has been reported today, I really hope that T-Mobile put in place measures that stop another occurrence of this type ever happening to its customers data again.

Peter Gray

 

 

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