‘Incorrect Process:’ AT&T Claims National Outage Caused by Internal Error, Not Cyberattack

Man with umbrella stands in front of AT&T logo
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A major AT&T network outage that affected tens of thousands of customers nationwide on Thursday was not the result of a cyberattack, the company said.

Fox Business reports that AT&T reported that service disruptions beginning around 3:30 a.m. ET Thursday were likely caused by “the application & execution of an incorrect process” during network upgrades. The outage prevented users from making calls or sending texts, with major impacts reported in cities like Houston, Dallas, Chicago, New York and Miami.

By Thursday evening, AT&T said service had been fully restored to all affected customers. The company stated: “We have restored wireless service to all our affected customers. We sincerely apologize to them. Keeping our customers connected remains our top priority, and we are taking steps to ensure our customers do not experience this again in the future.”

According to Downdetector, a website that tracks service outages, AT&T disruptions spiked Thursday morning to over 73,000 reported issues before declining in early afternoon. The FBI and FCC both said they were investigating the cause.

On Twitter, the FCC commented: “We are aware of the reported wireless outages, and our Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is actively investigating. We are in touch with AT&T, public safety authorities, including FirstNet, as well as other providers.” The FBI also confirmed that it was in contact with AT&T, with a spokesperson stating: “Should we learn of any malicious activity we will respond accordingly.”

Initial concerns over a possible cyberattack were dismissed by a defense official, who told Fox News there was “no indication” of malicious activity. The outage came during a period of transition for AT&T, which last month reported a loss of 1 million TV subscribers. The company’s stock recently hit a 30-year low as customers move away from traditional cable packages.

While AT&T blamed internal processes for the outage, some disruptions were also reported at other major carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile. But those companies claimed their networks were operating normally, suggesting problems resulted from failed attempts to connect with the crippled AT&T system.

Read more at Fox Business here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.


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