T-Mobile confirms hackers stole internal data

The company says it does not believe customer information was among that stolen

T-Mobile confirmed on Tuesday that internal information posted on the Internet by hackers was stolen from its systems, but said it does not appear customer data is in jeopardy.

Hackers posted a message on Saturday on the Full Disclosure vulnerability message board claiming they'd pilfered confidential documents as well as financial and database information from T-Mobile's servers. After trying to sell the data to T-Mobile's competitors, they wrote they were offering the information to the highest bidder.

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However, T-Mobile disputes the value of the data. "Regarding the recent claim on a Web site, we've identified the document from which information was copied and believe possession of this alone is not enough to cause harm to our customers," the company said.

T-Mobile said further information could not be released due to the ongoing investigation. The company will contact customers if it becomes evident personal information was compromised, it said.

In the message on Full Disclosure, the hackers posted data showing information on operating system versions, applications and IP addresses allegedly collected from T-Mobile's systems. It revealed information on what kind of internal software systems the company uses, such as software from vendors including Tibco Software, SAP, Centivia, and Teradata.

At least one data security specialist doubted the hackers obtained as much sensitive information as they claimed.

"If these guys have personally identifiable information, then they would have exposed enough of that to give credibility to the story, because it's going to massively increase the value of what they're going to sell," said Paul Davie, founder of data security specialist Secerno. "So I suspect that they don't have that kind of thing."

T-Mobile International is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom of Germany. In its first quarter 2009 financial results ending in March, the company counted 148.4 million customers in 12 countries.

(Robert McMillan in San Francisco contributed to this report.)

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