1What You Should Know About the T-Mobile, Experian Hack
2It All Starts With Experian
The hack actually originated at Experian, the credit-monitoring company that provides everything from credit reports to organizations to services that allow users to track identity theft. For now, Experian said that it’s still investigating the matter, but it can confirm that its servers were hacked and accessed. It’s unknown who is behind the attacks.
3How Does T-Mobile Get Involved?
So, how did this get back to T-Mobile? It’s simple: T-Mobile uses Experian for its credit checks on new customers. Whenever a person sets up a new financing account, T-Mobile sends their personal information through Experian’s servers to determine their risk level in being able to pay their bills. That’s why T-Mobile customer data was available in the Experian hack.
4What Exactly Was Stolen?
The sheer amount of data stolen is staggering. According to both Experian and T-Mobile, just about anything that a company would need from a person for a credit check was stolen, including names, Social Security numbers, home addresses, birthdates and other vital information that a hacker could use to wreak havoc on another person’s life.
5Who Was Affected?
6What Wasn’t Stolen?
7So Far, So Good, According to the Companies
So far, the hackers who stole the personally identifiable information have not used it, according to both Experian and T-Mobile. That’s good news for those who have been hacked, but it doesn’t mean everything is forgotten. Quite the contrary, the hackers may be biding their time and looking to sell the information on the black market.
8No Further Breaches Are Expected
Experian claims that the loophole that the hackers used to access its data has been closed and user information is safe. Of course, as recent data breaches have shown, companies are sometimes wrong about the extent of the hacks and it’s possible more people may get caught up in this mess. For now, though, Experian doesn’t expect others to be affected.
9Consumers Are Urged to Keep Close Tabs on Credit Reports
The chances of identity theft are still high for those who have been affected, so it’s important that all customers keep an eye on their credit reports, according to Experian and T-Mobile. The companies are urging their customers to keep close tabs on their credit reports to see if hackers are using their personal information to open new credit cards or bank accounts. After all, with the information they have, they can effectively do whatever they want.
10Free Credit Monitoring and Identity Protection Are Available
As part of their efforts to make things right for customers affected by the breach, T-Mobile and Experian are offering two years of free credit monitoring. In addition, they are paying for two years of identity resolution services through Protect My ID. While that may not be enough to satisfy those who have been affected, it’s better than nothing.
11Expect T-Mobile to Ditch Its Experian Relationship
T-Mobile CEO John Legere has made clear that he’s extremely upset with Experian and said on his Twitter account that he’s evaluating all options. Considering how troubling the situation is, look for T-Mobile to sever ties with Experian and move on to another provider in short order.