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FBI Investigates Whether Nationwide AT&T Outage Was a CYBERATTACK

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FBI Investigates Whether Nationwide AT&T Outage Was a CYBERATTACK

You are not alone, an AT&T outage is occurring throughout the United States, and the company is working to restore service to normal.

Millions of AT&T customers in the United States awoke to widespread service outages on Thursday, February 22nd, 2024. The outage, which occurred early in the morning, has disrupted mobile phone service, preventing customers from making and receiving calls, sending text messages, or accessing data.

Users’ reports and outage tracking services like Downdetector show that the problem is widespread, affecting major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta. Customers are complaining on social media about being unable to connect with loved ones or complete vital business activity.

The cause of the outage remains unknown. AT&T has yet to publish an official statement on the issue, putting users in the dark about the core cause and projected resolution timescale. Customers are becoming increasingly frustrated as a result of the lack of communication.
Cyber attack?

The source of the broad outage affecting AT&T services across the United States is unknown, with conflicting reports indicating it could be a cyber assault or technical issues.

Users from numerous places have reported issues accessing wireless services, raising questions about the scope and nature of the disruption.
AT&T is aware!

AT&T Outage

Although several users on social media reported that their connection had been restored, AT&T remarked on X (previously Twitter), “several of our customers are experiencing wireless service outages.

We are working immediately to restore service to all affected customers.” It’s worth noting that the corporation also offered a link where you may check for updates.

Ironically, that link was also unavailable and displayed an error notice to visitors. However, according to a live outage map from Down Detector, a site that monitors internet outages, AT&T continues to experience service issues across the United States.

The possible consequences of this outage are enormous. Disruptions in mobile phone service can impede communication, influence emergency services for some, and cause irritation for countless individuals and organisations that rely on mobile devices for daily tasks.

This recent outage emphasises the need of stable mobile phone service in today’s linked society.

It also emphasises the significance of clear and timely communication from service providers during such disruptions in order to reduce inconvenience and maintain user safety.


Meanwhile, federal authorities are ‘urgently examining’ whether the widespread cellular outage that affected Americans on Thursday was the result of a cyberattack.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are investigating what caused service disruptions at AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and a dozen other cellular providers.

While the agencies have not provided specifics, a security expert told that the disruption has the signs of a hack.

According to Lee McKnight, an associate professor at Syracuse University in New York, the pervasive nature appears to be ‘a huge Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack on essential Internet infrastructure.’

This sort of attack tries to crash a website or online service by flooding it with too many requests at the same time.

The spike of basic requests overloads the servers, leading them to fail and shut down.


McKnight, who is also an Affiliate of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSTC), stated that DDOS attacks are becoming increasingly popular among hackers.

He cited an incident in 2016 in which the Mirai botnet brought down services such as Netflix, Twitter, Amazon, and PayPal.

‘Some of those were launched by youngsters for fun, while others were by nefarious actors,’ McKnight explained.

‘The reality is that you can’t rent DDOS attacks by the hour on the Dark Web, therefore who is behind it will never be completely known/attributed.’

The goal of disrupting mobile services could simply be to create pandemonium by preventing 911 calls. However, the downtime could simply be a result of the hackers’ true intention: espionage.

After getting access to mobile carriers’ internal servers, the hackers would be able to view client call history. This would disclose information such as geolocation, phone history, and text messages.

The professor believed that a cloud misconfiguration could also be to blame, implying that the outage was the result of human mistake.

“A major cloud service provider such as AWS or Azure experiencing an outage at one of their data centres is possible but less likely to be the cause, in my opinion,” McKnight added.

In 2023, Ukraine’s leading mobile service, Kyivstar, was targeted by a cyberattack that knocked off services for half of the population, damaged IT infrastructure, and put millions of people at risk of missing alerts of imminent Russian air attacks.

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