AT&T sending out emails to millions whose data was stolen in massive breach — what you need to know

The AT&T logo on the side of a building.
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AT&T has informed current and older customers about a major data leak, including sending emails and resetting passwords to prevent unauthorized account access.

In a recent statement, AT&T said, “AT&T has determined that AT&T data-specific fields were contained in a data set released on the dark web. While AT&T has made this determination, it is not yet known whether the data in those fields originated from AT&T or one of its vendors.

With respect to the balance of the data set, which includes personal information such as social security numbers, the source of the data is still being assessed. Based on our preliminary analysis, the data set appears to be from 2019 or earlier, impacting approximately 7.6 million current AT&T account holders and 65.4 million former account holders. Currently, AT&T does not have evidence of unauthorized access to its systems resulting in theft of the data set.”

This statement confirms that the data recently put up for sale on the Dark Web does include some legitimate customer data. However, AT&T remains adamant that the data was not pulled from its systems. The company has maintained that the leak did not come from a security fault in their systems, but it should be noted that the investigation is still ongoing.

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While AT&T is adamant that its systems are not at fault, it has offered affected customers complimentary identity theft and credit monitoring services for those whose personal information has been compromised. This isn't the first time AT&T has been in the news, as they recently had a massive signal outage that affected more than 70,000 users.

If their information has been stolen, customers can take several steps, including changing their passwords and turning on two-factor authentication for their accounts. There have also been recommendations that customers freeze their credit, which prevents the major credit reporting agencies from disclosing the information required to establish new lines of credit. Finally, it is recommended not to click links from emails claiming to be from AT&T without authenticating them first.

Large data leaks are a growing problem as hacking techniques improve. The question of where this leak came from is important, as it could reveal whether there is an issue with AT&T systems that needs to be addressed. For the time being, we can only wait until the official report is finalized. 

If you want more safety while using your phone, then it might be worth checking out our Best VPN Service in 2024 and the Best Anti-virus Software of 2024 articles to make sure you have the best personal defense possible

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Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.