By Joris Evers
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
August 29, 2006
AT&T on Tuesday said hackers broke into one of its computer systems
and accessed personal data on thousands of customers who used its
The information that was illegally accessed includes credit card
numbers, AT&T said in a statement. The cyberattack affects about
19,000 customers who purchased equipment for high-speed DSL Internet
connections through AT&T's Web site, the company said.
"We deeply regret this incident," Priscilla Hill-Ardoin, chief privacy
officer for AT&T, said in the statement. "We will work closely with
law enforcement to bring these data thieves to account."
The break-in occurred over the weekend and was discovered within
hours, after which the online store was shut down, AT&T said. The
telecommunications company quickly notified credit card companies and
is in the process of contacting the affected customers via e-mail,
phone and letter, it said.
The incident is the latest in a long string of data security breaches.
Since early last year, more than 90 million personal records have been
exposed in dozens of incidents, according to information compiled by
the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
AT&T is offering to pay for credit monitoring services for customers
whose accounts have been impacted because they could be at risk of
identity fraud. The company also has made available a toll-free number
to affected customers to call for more information.
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