Data of 29,000 Wyoming residents exposed on dark web; Cyber ​​Wyoming warns of risks

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming residents whose personal information may have been exposed in a T-Mobile data breach are being urged to change their phone account passwords by the leader of a Wyoming group working to reduce cybercrime.

Laura Baker, executive director of Cyber ​​Wyoming, told the Cowboy State Daily on Friday that leaked information on the “dark web” could leave cellphone accounts vulnerable to being taken over by thieves or “traded.” of SIM cards”.

“SIM swapping is when bad actors call your mobile carrier pretending to be you,” she said. “They impersonate you with breached information such as personally identifiable information from T-Mobile and they combine it with social media information they found about you online.

“When they contact your phone company, they say they broke or lost the old phone and need to register a new one,” she continued. “If successful, they will now receive all of your texts, including texts you receive with codes verifying who you are.”

Nearly 30,000 Wyoming residents were among the 53 million current, former and potential T-Mobile customers affected by the August data breach.

Wyoming Attorney General Bridget Hill’s office said this week that much of the information obtained in the breach was uncovered for sale on the dark web, a hidden part of the internet where criminals buy, sell and track personal information.

Baker advised anyone affected by the breach to access their phone carrier account, change their password to something difficult they had never used before, and use any recommended two-factor authentication. by the operator.

“Some people even have a super-secret email address that they only use for validation like this, instead of using their phone,” Baker said. “Others use a Google Voice phone number so their real cell phone number isn’t published and they can use anonymity to their advantage. Others use password management software.

She added that there are many creative ways people can protect themselves online, but noted that one of the most important factors is securing the phone company account with the maximum possible security checks.

“Think of it like your bank account,” she said.

Hill also suggested anyone affected by the breach consider freezing their credit on their credit report for free and placing a fraud alert on their credit report.

The 21-year-old hacker who claimed the data breach told the Wall Street Journal last fall that T-Mobile had unprotected routers and weak spots in the company’s Internet addresses gave him access to more than 100 servers.

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