15 million T-mobile customers' data stolen in hack

© Brendan McDermid
Hackers have breached the computer network of T-mobile’s partner company, data collector Experian, and stolen private information on 15 million customers of the mobile operator.

The data stolen includes names, birth dates, addresses, and more sensitive information such as social security numbers and credit assessments made by T-mobile, the company said in a statement on Thursday. The encryption may have been compromised.

“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,” T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere wrote.

“I take our customer and prospective customer privacy VERY 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.”

Experian was entrusted with the personal data to conduct credit assessment for T-mobile. The records in the stolen trove stretch two years from September 1, 2013 through September 16, 2015, T-mobile said. Experian is notifying all victims by mail, it said, and offering two years of credit monitoring to those who suffered during the security breach.

The data stolen may not include banking details, but it may be used for identity theft, the two companies warned.

Experian, which is one of world's biggest credit history operators, has been beset by similar problems in the past, when it was revealed that the company allowed an identity theft facilitator to get access and sell hundreds of thousands of records from its database. In 2013, the man in question, Vietnamese national Hieu Minh Ngo, was indicted by the US District Court for New Hampshire.