Hack of the Month

Living in a world centered on data and the channels through which it travels, high-level hacking is an all too familiar occurrence. Not too long ago, hackers rocked Hollywood by breaching Sony Pictures’ security system. The latest hack touches home for 15 million T-Mobile customers.

Hackers stole the personal information belonging to users of the number 3 cellular wireless carrier in the country through Experian, which is the official credit check service used by T-Mobile. The leaked information effects all T-Mobile customers who applied for wireless service between September 1, 2013 and September 16, 2015.

T-Mobile is offering two years of free credit monitoring services for all customers. Although Experian claims that it does not currently have any evidence, which suggests that the stolen data is being used improperly, there is massive cause for concern. Social Security numbers are tightly guarded for a reason. There is no predicting what a capable hacker is likely to do with such secret information, but guessing will lead to some ominous conclusions.

While this news is alarming to T-Mobile users across the country, all consumers need to take notice of this ever-growing issue. The sophistication of hackers increases just as often as the technology used to fight them grows. The vast depths of the internet are almost inviting to a bored high school student across the globe (or the yard) looking to make a quick buck.

Consumers everywhere are urged to regularly monitor their credit reports from all three of the major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), especially after data breaches. However, even in the absence of such a catastrophic occurrence, consumers should take notice of what is being reported on their credit on an annual basis.

After a bankruptcy discharge, inaccurate credit reporting is endemic. Debtors discharged in bankruptcy often find debts, thought to be eliminated in bankruptcy, still reporting on their credit reports. Often times such reporting will be by a new servicer or creditor, however, the debt is still the same. False reporting is a violation of federal law and should be addressed immediately upon discovery to ensure accurate reporting in the future.

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