T-Mobile breach exposes customer phone numbers, call info — what you need to know

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If you get your wireless phone service from T-Mobile, be on the lookout for potential phishing attacks in the coming weeks. T-Mobile confirmed that it suffered a data breach, in which hackers could have accessed information about your wireless account.

The good news — no personal information such as names, addresses, social security numbers of credit information was compromised in the breach, T-Mobile says. But hackers could have seen subscribers' phone numbers, number of lines on their account, and some call information. That's the sort of data that a hacker can use in phishing attempts to wheedle out other information like your passwords.

T-Mobile told Bleeping Computer that the breach affects less than 0.2% of its customers. With 100.4 million customers as of the end of the third quarter of this year, that translates to around 200,800 customers. T-Mobile says it's contacting affected customers, and it's also posted a security notice with additional details about the breach.

This isn't the first time T-Mobile suffered a data breach in the last year. Back in March, the carrier said that criminals may have gotten their hands on customer names and addresses, phone numbers, account numbers, rate plans and features, and billing information. Like this latest breach, no financial or social security info fell into the wrong hands.

If you've got questions about the breach, T-Mobile says you can contact it online, in a store or via the carrier's customer service division at 1-800-937-8997.

The only action it sounds like you need to take is to be more vigilant than usual when it comes to e-mails from senders you don't recognize to avoid falling victim to any phishing campaign that's using info gleaned from the breach. That means not clicking on links in unsolicited emails and checking on the sender's email address.

Practicing good security habits can also keep the fallout from data breaches like this one to a minimum. Use strong passwords and never re-use the same password for multiple accounts; turning to a password manager can help in that regard. You can also run some of the best antivirus software as a further precaution.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.