Telecom Company Frontier Hit by Cyberattack Targeting Personal Information

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It’s easy to miss news of the cybersecurity threats and attacks happening almost everywhere. At PK Tech, our goal is to educate and offer proactive steps for cybersecurity safety. It’s important to be aware – without being afraid – of the cybersecurity threats that are real threats to your business. PK Tech aims to be a leading educator and support tool in the world of cybersecurity. 

This month, we’re highlighting a cyberattack on Telecom giant Frontier (reference), a company that provides internet services in more than 25 states, reporting 2023 revenues of $5.75 billion. Can you say big money? What happened, what was the fallout, and why should you care? We’re covering it all here. Let’s dive in.

What the “Hack” Happened?

The company, Frontier, first detected unauthorized access to its IT systems on April 14. With service to more than 25 states in the U.S., the company decided to shut down certain company systems in an effort to contain the attack. With the large scope of the company, even select shutdowns caused significant operational disruption. Frontier Communications also reported the cyberattack to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Following an internal investigation, Frontier determined the third party that was detected was likely a cybercrime group mining for personally identifiable information.

The Fallout

Several layers of investigations are underway. The Company conducted internal investigations , as well as hired cybersecurity experts to help diagnose and resolve the incident. In addition to required reporting to the SEC, the Company also enlisted law enforcement agencies. 

So far, it has been determined that cybercriminals were specifically after personally identifiable information: social security numbers, account numbers, names, etc. With this information, they can sell it on the black market and get paid–or hold it for ransom from the company. When you’re targeting a company with millions of customers, as you might guess, the payout can be significant.

Lessons Learned #ITCouldHaveBeenWorse

Telecommunications companies remain a key cybercriminal target. With high stakes when  customers are taken offline, cybercriminals target personally identifiable information, holding it ransom until they get paid. We recently saw AT&T undergo a similar attack to Frontier – 51 million people affected, with customer information such as Social Security numbers, AT&T account numbers, and AT&T passwords compromised.

Concerned that the attack might have caused a material impact on Frontier, the Company later announced that the shutdowns were not likely to materially impact the Company’s financial condition or results of operations. While, yes, #ITCouldHaveBeenWorse, the ramifications of material impacts – when they occur – can be detrimental. 

We continue to learn that, regardless of industry, if you service a lot of customers, you are a target. Big customer numbers, in general, are equivalent to big money and cybercriminals know it. Make sure you have a cybersecurity plan and an IT team that meets the needs of your company infrastructure. 
Ready to chat? PK Tech would love to connect with your business. We provide managed IT services for small to medium-sized businesses in the Greater Phoenix Area. Book a complimentary call with a member of our team here.