Hackers Hit AT&T System, Get Credit Card Info

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2006-08-29 Print this article Print

About 19,000 customers of the telephone company's online store are affected by a weekend computer break-in.

AT&T revealed late Aug. 29 that an undisclosed number of unauthorized persons had illegally hacked into one of its computer systems and accessed the personal data—including credit card information—of about 19,000 customers who had purchased DSL equipment through the companys online store. The unauthorized electronic access took place over the weekend of Aug. 26-27 and was discovered within hours, a company spokesperson said. The store was shut down immediately and remains offline. AT&T, based in San Antonio, also notified the major credit card companies whose customer accounts were involved.
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The company is also working with law enforcement to investigate the incident and pursue the perpetrators, the spokesperson said. About 19,000 customers are being notified by e-mail, phone calls and letters, the spokesperson said. For advice on how to secure your network and applications, as well as the latest security news, visit Ziff Davis Internets Security IT Hub. "We recognize that there is an active market for illegally obtained personal information. We are committed to both protecting our customers privacy and to weeding out and punishing the violators," said Priscilla Hill-Ardoin, chief privacy officer for AT&T. "We deeply regret this incident and we intend to pay for credit monitoring services for customers whose accounts have been impacted. We will work closely with law enforcement to bring these data thieves to account." Customers who have been affected have been provided with a toll-free number to call for more information, the spokesperson said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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