T-Mobile advises customers to be careful with emails and WhatsApp messages that have recently been sent on behalf of the provider. Due to a data breach at a former supplier of the virtual provider Ben, customer data has been stolen. The telecom company has reported this to the Dutch Data Protection Authority.
A T-Mobile spokesperson confirms the leak to Tweakers.net.
Hackers steal email addresses and IBANs
In an email to duped customers, T-Mobile writes that unauthorized persons have viewed email addresses and IBANs. This concerns customers who have taken out a subscription with Ben between January 9, 2015, and January 1, 2019, and have used Ben Vriendenvoordeel. That was a promotion where customers received a discount on their subscriptions if they referred other customers.
A spokesperson for T-Mobile says about the incident: “A former supplier of Ben who managed the Vriendenvoordeel program has leaked data from Ben customers. This concerns the email address and the IBAN provided in the year 2019. Immediately after the leak came to light, the data was removed so that a similar situation could no longer arise. All Ben customers whose leaked data have been informed by email.”
T-Mobile: ‘Beware of phishing’
Many details about the data breach are unknown. For example, it is unknown when the leak came to light and what caused it. Nor is it clear who is responsible for the theft of the personal data, how many customers are victims and whether a ransom has been requested or paid, for example.
In the email to affected customers, T-Mobile warns them to be alert to messages and links that seem to come from the telecom company. “The data that has come out can be used to set up targeted phishing campaigns. For example, you can receive an email, phone call, text message or WhatsApp message asking you to click on a link that criminals use to try to retrieve your bank login details, for example. Be alert to this. I would therefore like to ask you to be extra vigilant and not just click on links,” the provider writes.
Here’s what you need to know about Ben
Ben is a so-called Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). This provider offers telecom services but does not have a communication network. The party purchases a license from one of the major providers – in our country, these are KPN, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Tele2 – and is then allowed to use their network. Some examples of MVNOs in our country – besides Ben – are Simyo, Simpel, Youfone, Hollandsnieuwe and Lebara.