54.6 Million hit by T-Mobile Data Breach | Chip shortage hits Global Car Production | China passes new Data Protection Law

23rd August

T-Mobile Data Breach

Last week, T-Mobile announced that they had been the victims of a “highly sophisticated cyberattack”. This announcement came after reports that criminals were attempting to sell a large database which contained T-Mobile customer data online. The database was stolen roughly two weeks ago and contains customer data stretching as far back as 2004.

The hacker is claiming to be selling a pool of data which includes social security numbers, phone numbers, names, addresses, and driver’s license information. Though not all customers had their driver’s licenses and social security numbers stolen. The hacker also acquired customers IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) which is assigned to every mobile device, along with their IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) which is used to identify their SIM card.

54.6 million individuals have been affected by the data breach
BBC News

The data stolen, such as name, address, social security numbers, etc could be used to commit identity theft. As well as this, the IMSI information could be used in SIM swapping attacks – this is where an attacker can take over a customer’s phone number to intercept 2FA codes being sent to the device.

As it stands today, 54.6 million individuals have been affected. This is an increase on the 48.6 million individuals first reported at the end of last week as T-Mobile uncovers more about the attack during their investigation. Watch this space for any further updates.

Chip Shortage Hits Car Production

Several weeks ago, we discussed how the Covid pandemic boosted demand for appliances that use microchips such as phones, TVs, and games consoles. Now, we are seeing a new reminder that this shortage is being felt on a global scale by the automotive industry.

It is expected that the shortage of semiconductor chips will impact the global vehicle production for the remainder of 2021 and 2022, resulting in huge losses for the industry. IHS Markit has said that the ongoing chip crisis will not be over before the second quarter of next year.

At the end of last week, the world’s biggest car manufacturer, Toyota, has planned to slash global vehicle production by 40% in September because of the chip shortage. Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes, BMW, and Renault have also cut production due to the shortage.

Last month, the boss of Intel said that the worst of the global chip crisis is yet to come. iPhone and computer makers have also reported the same shortages, with Apple executives warning that things may get worse for them in the current quarter and could hit iPhone production.

With the worst apparently still to come, it’s time to buckle up (pardon the pun) and brace for even more shortages in the devices that we use daily.

China Passes Data Protection Law

China has now passed legislation which sets out tougher rules for how companies handle user data in a move that pushes forwards its campaign to curb the influence of ‘big tech’.

The new law (The Personal Information Protection Law - PIPL) will become into effect on November 1st, though the full version of the law has not yet been released. Early drafts required firms to get user consent to collect, use and share information and to provide a way for users to opt out. Companies found to be breaking the new rules could face fines up to 50 million yuan ($7.7 million), or 5% of their annual income.

This comes as China has been reversing years of essentially leaving things to take their own course and not interfering by now rapidly stepping up regulation in areas ranging from anti-trust to data protection. Watch this space as further details of the new law is made public.

Companies found to be breaking the new rules could face fines up to 50 million yuan ($7.7 million), or 5% of their annual income.
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