Latest T-Mobile data breach also impacted (some) Google Fi accounts (to a small degree)
You may not know this if you're not very familiar with the ins and outs of the US wireless industry, but the 2015-launched Google Fi service uses a combination of T-Mobile and US Cellular technology to deliver an ultra-affordable no-contract product for folks who don't want to subscribe (directly) to any of the nation's big three operators.
While that setup is advantageous to Google for a number of reasons, as the search giant doesn't need to solve the logistical and financial challenges of building its own mobile network to further loyalize some of its most hardcore fans, there are also downsides to such an arrangement.
One drawback that you might not have thought about before is becoming abundantly clear on the heels of the latest in a shockingly long line of security incidents involving T-Mobile. This huge new data breach, revealed by the "Un-carrier" itself less than two weeks ago after a discovery made back on January 5, has been (indirectly) confirmed as the cause of "unauthorized access" gained on some Google Fi customer information as well.
Although Big G does not mention T-Mobile by name in emails reportedly sent to affected Fi users, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what "primary network provider" the company is talking about.
Said unnamed "provider" apparently informed Google of recent "suspicious activity relating to a third party system" with "limited" Fi customer data in it. After investigating the matter, El Goog concluded that said data was indeed accessed without authorization, asking T-Mo to "identify and implement measures to secure the data on that third party system and notify everyone potentially impacted."
Sounds bad, we know, but while every security breach (no matter how small or seemingly "innocent") needs to be treated with the utmost seriousness, the nature of the compromised data makes this particular incident... not that big of a deal.
No names, birth dates, email addresses, payment card info, social security numbers, driver's licenses, passwords, PINs, or any kind of financial data were involved in the breach, at least according to Google, and the hackers behind the (largely failed) attack did not obtain the contents of any text messages or phone calls either.
Instead, the "third party system" that was breached merely contained "data about your mobile service plan, account activation dates, SIM card serial numbers, and active or inactive account status", which shouldn't cause a lot of harm (if any) to a lot of customers. Still, if you're thinking of becoming a Google Fi subscriber in the future, the security aspect of the deal is something that you may need to carefully take into consideration before making a decision.
Things that are NOT allowed: