MASSIVE phone outages across US, major carriers affected
T-Mobile and AT&T users reported the outages on Monday afternoon, according to DownDetector, a website that tracks the availability of communications services and websites. Verizon users also reported issues, as did a number of smaller carriers, with most of the US’ major metropolitan areas seemingly affected. T-Mobile customers made over 100,000 outage reports, spanning Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and Brooklyn, most noting problems making calls.
Sprint, a subsidiary of T-Mobile, has also experienced problems, in addition to US Cellular.
T-Mobile’s president of technology, Neville Ray, said on Twitter that a “voice and data issue” occurred, and would soon be fixed by the company’s engineers, though he gave no exact time frame. Spokespeople from AT&T and Verizon told TechCrunch that they saw no issues with their networks.
While the cause of the outages remains unclear, a Verizon representative suggested the problem may have originated with “another national carrier” – presumably T-Mobile – resulting in outage reports for several other services when calls failed to go through, according to Business Insider.
Netizens have speculated the issues were brought on by a distributed denial of service attack, or DDoS, in which attackers send an immense amount of data to deliberately paralyze a network. Some were skeptical about that explanation, however.
This site show a random sample of global DDoS traffic badly plotted on a world map. It does not indicate an attack against the US, it lacks context to make any inferences at all (other than DDoS attacks are happening all day every day). pic.twitter.com/8H9PqlIjbd— MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) June 15, 2020
Coming amid ongoing ‘Black Lives Matter’ street protests, the outages also fueled a slew of conspiracy theories, ranging from government attempts to censor the protests to a full-scale “alien invasion.”
Verizon outage coming soon to a protesting city near you? Inconclusive of course but the Verizon outage map right now is looking pretty odd... pic.twitter.com/PmoYi2xGy9— Noah Thorp (@noahthorp) June 15, 2020
All major communications companies T-Mobile Verizon AT&T suffering outages may be the prelude to an alien invasion.— David Leavitt (@David_Leavitt) June 15, 2020
For techies! Looks like we are under a cyber attack. Anyone else experiencing issue? Cell services particularly T-mobile are reporting outages pic.twitter.com/3NyxIhge63— Olga Lautman (@olgaNYC1211) June 15, 2020
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