AT&T hung up by hack

US telco tries to rectify the damage caused by online hackers

Telecommunications giant AT&Thas become the latest company to be targeted by hackers.

This weekend, someone was able to infiltrate the company's computer system and access sensitive data, including credit card details, from around 19,000 customers.

AT&T maintains that it discovered the breach, which affected the customers buying DSL equipment from its online store, within hours of its occurrence. It promptly shut down the system in question.

"We recognise that there is an active market for illegally obtained personal information," said Priscilla Hill-Ardoin, AT&T's chief privacy officer.

"We are committed to both protecting our customers' privacy and to weeding out and punishing the violators. 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."

Earlier this month, AT&T filed a federal law suit against 24 data brokers who allegedly gained unauthorised access to information from more than 2,000 customer accounts.

"We're taking this action on behalf of our customers," said Hill-Ardoin just last week.

"We intend to vigorously pursue these individuals who, through fraud, have attempted to obtain unauthorized access to customer information."

In some cases, individuals or data brokers use unauthorized access to telephone records, often to collect information for use in legal or domestic disputes.

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