Was the US Mobile Service Outage a Cyber Attack? White House Launches Investigation

Was the US Mobile Service Outage a Cyber Attack? White House Launches Investigation

On Thursday, a massive network failure impacted numerous mobile phone users across the U.S. This disruption, starting at 4:30 am, lasted for an extensive period of over 13 hours and finally resolved at 2:15 pm. This unusual incident has raised concerns and inquiries into its possible cause. Rumours have surfaced suggesting a potential cyberattack as the culprit.

February 22, a significant cellular outage hit the United States, affecting users across major carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. The outage commenced at 4:30 am and persisted for over 13 hours until 2:15 pm, leaving thousands unable to establish connections and plunging them into a communication blackout. Speculation arose regarding the cause, with many questioning whether it was due to a cyber attack, given the prolonged disruption that raised concerns about the security of the cellular networks.

A significant cellular outage has affected thousands of people across the US

On June 14, 2023, AT&T encountered a significant outage that impacted its voice and text services. Downdetector, a platform for tracking service interruptions, received reports of around 32,000 incidents from users. T-Mobile and Verizon also experienced disruptions in their services, although officials hinted that these outages might have been caused by customers attempting to contact individuals on alternative networks.

The extensive outage wreaked havoc across the nation, affecting prominent urban centers like New York, Boston, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco. Its repercussions extended beyond the borders, reaching as far as Montreal in neighboring Canada. Numerous police stations expressed alarm over citizens experiencing challenges in reporting emergencies during this tumultuous period.

Was the US Mobile Service Outage a Cyber Attack? White House Launches Investigation

During a recent service outage, AT&T users encountered significant difficulties, including being stuck in “SOS Mode,” which restricted their calling capabilities to emergency services only. An AT&T representative recommended that affected users enable Wi-Fi calling as a temporary solution while the company worked to resolve the issue and restore normal service.

At 11:30 a.m., the company declared that three-quarters of its network had been restored. Complete service was reinstated by 2:15 p.m. “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,” AT&T said.

A widespread cellular outage affected several regions across the US

The extensive internet outage caused widespread frustration among users as attempts to resolve the issue and restore normal service were ongoing. Some expressed disappointment with AT&T’s perceived lack of timely updates, while others were concerned about the severity and unusual nature of the service disruption. This incident underscored the exposed nature of the country’s communication infrastructure and raised questions about the resilience of major providers when faced with unanticipated challenges.

AT&T shares statement on mobile outage

The reason behind the widespread outage became more evident as AT&T acknowledged in a statement that the problem stemmed from a misstep in their network expansion process. Despite worries about a cyberattack, the company reassured that the disruption occurred due to internal issues rather than external interference. Following a 13-hour ordeal, AT&T successfully recovered three-quarters of its network by 11:30 a.m., achieving full service restoration by 2:15 p.m.