Experian Hacked, T-Mobile Affected
Experian, among the largest credit agency data brokers worldwide, was hacked. About 15 million people who utilized the services of this company, which includes T-Mobile who applied for the Experian credit checks, may have their private information exposed.
The hacked information includes names, addresses, as well as social security, driver’s license, and passport numbers. According to Experian, although the license and passport numbers were in the encrypted field, they might also have been compromised.
As stated in a question page that was addressed to consumers, “Experian discovered an unauthorized party accessed T-Mobile data housed in an Experian server.” Experian offers consumers that were affected by this hack with free credit evaluation services.
How did T-Mobile React?
According to T-Mobile, they won’t remove its credit check data from the Experian servers primarily because of the credit laws that require them to retain it for 25 months.
The CEO of T-Mobile, John Legere, said, “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. I take our customer and prospective customer privacy VERY [sic] seriously. 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.”
Are all T-Mobile Customers affected?
First and foremost, it is important to note that T-Mobile itself wasn’t hacked; which means that its own servers and network were not compromised. This company has approximately 59 million subscribers; thus, the bulk of their customers are considered to be safe from the breach. This is primarily the reason why all the blame for the hack falls upon Experian, which took responsibility for the damage.
The Relationship between T-Mobile and Experian
T-Mobile acquired the services of Experian to handle credit evaluation for their customers and potential customers. The 15 million records that were accessed by the hackers actually belonged to those who applied for the services of T-Mobile. Note that not all applicants for T-Mobile services were compromised as the partnership between the two companies started on September 2013; thus, the affected people are the current and non-customers who applied between September 1st of 2013 and September 16th of 2015.
Therefore, it is safe to conclude that if you had applied for T-Mobile services before August 31, 2013; your information is most probably safe.
According to Experian, they are currently taking corrective action, even though it might be too late in this case. For instance, they are making sure that the Web application firewalls are properly working; they are improving the encryption key security; they are limiting employee access to the servers; they are increasing the monitoring of the affected servers and systems; and also working with the US and international law enforcement agencies to catch the culprits of the crime.
Unfortunately, consumers won’t be able to do anything with these types of hacks and exposures. All that’s left to do is to trust the companies that they will do the right thing when it happens.