Data Breaches iStock_000057624648_SmallAn Experian network server was accessed by an unauthorized party.  The unauthorized access is an isolated incident over a limited period of time. It included access to a server that contained personal information for consumers who applied for T-Mobile USA postpaid services between Sept. 1, 2013 and Sept. 16, 2015.

Experian’s consumer credit database was not accessed, and no other clients’ data was accessed.  Experian said that at this time, it has no indication that T-Mobile’s information has been used inappropriately.

Based on its investigation to date, some T-Mobile applicants who applied for services from Sept. 1, 2013 through Sept. 16, 2015 had unauthorized disclosure of their personal information. Records containing a name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, identification number (typically a driver’s license, military ID, or passport number) and additional information used in T-Mobile’s own credit assessment were downloaded. No payment card or banking information was obtained.

As soon as Experian detected the unauthorized access, it notified law enforcement and initiated a full investigation.  The incident is being investigated and necessary steps are undertaken to prevent it from recurring.

Lessons learned:  Immediate consequences 

  • A drop in the share price of both companies: T-Mobile US stock was down 3% Friday morning and London-traded shares of consumer credit reporting agency Experian lost 5% in the wake of the data breach.
  • Business relationship in jeopardy: “Obviously I am incredibly angry about this data breach and we will institute a thorough review of our relationship with Experian,” T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere said in a note to customers posted on the company’s website. “But right now my top concern and first focus is assisting any and all consumers affected.”
  • Potential Damage to reputation

Experian’s Craig Boundy sent a message to Experian customers affected by this event offering his apologies .  He provided a full explanation of the incident.  To provide support and help alleviate concerns, Experian are providing two years of free credit monitoring and identity protection services to anyone impacted.

Source: Experian Press Release – Reuters