AT&T loses info of 1,600 customers

CEO Randall L. Stephenson hopes his winning smile will help

att 1600 randall stephenson

Telecoms behemoth AT&T is in trouble again. Another 'rogue' employee has been caught 'obtaining' customer data.

Bad news often comes in threes, so, in IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder what's next for la T. (D'oh.)

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Jeremy Kirk is surrounded by redshirts:

AT&T fired an employee who improperly accessed about 1,600 customer accounts.

The employee...would have also been able to see...customers' Social Security and driver's license numbers [and] Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI), which is subscription information related to AT&T services. Because CPNI data was involved, AT&T also notified federal law enforcement authorities.  MORE

And Dennis Fisher is phed up with gags about his name:

In a letter sent to the Vermont attorney general, AT&T officials said that the breach occurred in August.

“We recently determined that one of our employees violated our strict privacy and security guidelines by accessing your account without authorization...and while doing so, would have been able to view and may have obtained your account information...without proper authorization,” said Michael A. Chiarmonte, director of finance billing [the] letter.

As a result of the breach, AT&T is offering affected customers a year of free credit monitoring, as has become customary. [It] also is recommending that customers change the passwords on their accounts.  MORE

So Shaun Nichols tries to resurrect an old meme:

All your data are belong to ... that guy.

The company promised to reverse any fraudulent charges made as a result of the data breach. Sources familiar with the matter have placed the number of people affected at around 1,600. ... Earlier this year AT&T reported another small-scale breach in which a group of contractors accessed an archive of customer account information including social security numbers.  MORE

Here's Brian X. Chen, looking a bit Grimm:

[The] incident is nowhere near as wide-reaching as the recent string of hacking attacks against companies like Home Depot and Target. ... But it serves as a cautionary tale about the types of information that employees at technology and communications companies can retrieve just by breaking the rules, no hacking required.  MORE

Meanwhile, RobertS stops and thinks:

[It] raises the rather obvious question of why AT&T has my SOCIAL SECURITY number in the first place, or why, if they needed it to do a credit check to open my account, they appear to be storing it.  MORE

And GrabBoyd grabs the opportunity to say this:

When I asked at&t salesperson why they need my SSN etc, and whether it was stored, they lied. They said it was only to do a credit check and that it would not be stored in the system. I then asked what the point of asking the last 4 of social was. So they grudgingly acknowledged that SSN is stored in the system but no one can access it !  MORE


You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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