AT&T outage reportedly caused by update but US gov’t investigating

Somebody at Ma Bell wasn't having a great day.

MajorLinux - Editor-in-chief

If you are an AT&T mobile customer, you might have noticed an inability to place or receive phone calls last Thursday. I’ll chalk that up to why I didn’t receive as many birthday calls although I have Verizon. The issue had started early that morning and lasted for most of the day.

After the issue was resolved, no reasoning was given for the outage. This led many to speculate that AT&T had suffered a cyber attack. AT&T later refuted the claims via ABC News.

The outage was not a cyberattack but caused by ‘the application and execution of an incorrect process used as we were expanding our network.'”

AT&T spokesperson to ABC News

Essentially, someone probably just lost their job on Thursday for doing something they weren’t supposed to do and costing the company a ton of money.

However, that hasn’t stopped the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from looking into the matter. While security officials stated there were “no indications of malicious activity”, the FBI and DHS are still sniffing around.

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) reported, according to a confidential memo obtained by ABC News, that “the cause of the outage is unknown and there are no indications of malicious activity.” CISA is an agency within DHS tasked with monitoring cyber threats.

The FCC has been in touch with AT&T to figure out what caused the outage, according to National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby.

Kirby told reporters Thursday afternoon that DHS and the FBI were looking into the outage as well and working with the tech industry and network providers to see what can be done “from a federal perspective to enhance their investigative efforts to figure out what happened here.”

“The bottom line is we don’t have all the answers,” he said. “We’re working very hard to see if we can get to the ground truth of exactly what happened.”

I wonder how many interconnected systems AT&T has that don’t need to be. If only companies cleaned up as they go when upgrading, things like this might be avoided.

However, I hope whoever dropped the ball is okay.

Source: 9To5Mac

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By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.
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