AT&T breach affects countless cellphone users

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ATLANTA - AT&T is acknowledging it's the victim of an inside job.

The company says it's the victim of a data breach that happened in April, but officials are just now going public with it.

A local victim wants to know more about that delay and how he could have been affected.

“I have to go through the trouble of securing all my information, freezing my credit,” said James Woodfin.

He showed Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland three emails he received from AT&T in April, warning him someone was trying to unlock his phone from the network.

"AT&T received an unlock request through my account," said Woodfin.

"Did you ever send one?" asked Strickland.

"I never sent one," said Woodfin.

AT&T confirms employees of an outside contractor hacked customers’ information including Social Security numbers in an attempt to unlock their phones, so the devices would fit other networks, making phones more susceptible to fraud.

“They ought to be transparent about it. They need to tell us how many people were actually affected,” Woodfin said.

AT&T won't give a number and won't say why a breach that happened in April and was discovered in May is only now being confirmed.

“These people may still have my Social Security number stored elsewhere, which we do not know,” said Woodfin.

AT&T released a statement saying in part:

"We have taken steps to help prevent this from happening again, we are notifying affected customers, and we have reported this matter to law enforcement."

AT&T is offering victims a year's worth of free credit monitoring and they're saying if you don't have a passcode on your phone, put one on there now.


Channel 2 Action News

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