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Data thieves breach AT&T online store
Published: 2006-08-29

Telecommunications giant AT&T announced on Tuesday that the company is contacting "fewer than 19,000" people who bought high-speed Internet hardware from the company's online store, after unknown attackers accessed customer accounts without authorization this past weekend.

The company has already notified the major credit-card companies of the accounts involved, reported the incident to law enforcement, and pledged to pay the cost of monitoring the affected credit accounts, according to an AT&T statement.

"We recognize that there is an active market for illegally obtained personal information," Priscilla Hill-Ardoin, the company's chief privacy officer, said in the statement. "We are committed to both protecting our customers' privacy and to weeding out and punishing the violators."

The breach is the latest privacy problem for the telecommunications giant. The company is currently being sued in a California court by the Electronic Frontier Foundation for cooperating with the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance program. AT&T also recently changed its privacy policy for video and broadband users, claiming ownership over customers' data--a claim that legal experts said overreaches the company's rights.

The company is attempting to contact affected customers by e-mail, phone and regular mail.

Posted by: Robert Lemos
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Data thieves breach AT&T online store 2006-08-30
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