T-Mobile’s hacker pay-off exposed

By Scoop
April 19, 2022 · less than 3 min read

Unsurprisingly, an attempt to pay away a data leak hasn’t gone to plan for T-Mobile.  

A pay-off gone wrong 

They say honesty’s the best policy for a reason. Telecoms giant T-Mobile has ended up with egg on its face after a sneaky attempt to conceal a data leak backfired spectacularly. After offering to pay to get its data back, the hackers gladly took the money – then leaked it all anyway.  

While customer data safety needs to be taken seriously, data breaches are not the end of the world if they’re handled in the right way. Trying to pay off your hackers and keep the incident hush-hush? It’s not a tactic we’d recommend.  

Losing money and face 

T-Mobile asked an unidentified third party to try and negotiate with the hackers. After attempting to buy the breached data of 30 million customers to the tune of around $200,000, the hackers went ahead and leaked the data anyway. Who saw that one coming? Clearly, not T-Mobile.  

While the incident is both embarrassing and reputationally damaging for T-Mobile, it’s a worrying sign of how the biggest companies are attempting to handle data breaches. There’s even a growing number of reports that firms are trying to hack back – getting both their data and the identity of their hackers in the process.  

An alleged administrator of popular hacker site RaidForums was arrested in the UK earlier this year. But if would-be data thieves get wind of how lucrative a bit of data theft can be, and that big companies will pay up, who’s to say other companies won’t make the same mistakes T-Mobile did.  

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