NTT Docomo confirms that a temporary staff stole its user data – issues an apology

NTT Docomo, a Japanese communication operator, has been in the news for multiple incidents of data breaches and thefts. Yesterday, the carrier confirmed that its former staff stole user info involving 5.96 million pieces of info. According to the company, the former staff was a contract staff with NTT Nexia, a contractor for NTT Docomo.

NTT Docomo

NTT Docomo Former Staff Steals Millions of User Info

On July 21, 2023, NTT Docomo announced that a former temporary employee of the company’s contractor NTT Nexia illegally stole user info involving 5.96 million pieces of info.  The info obtained by the former staff includes the user’s name, address, phone number, date of birth, emails, etc. However, it does not include credit cards, financial accounts, payment info, and various passwords. The former staff was arrested on suspicion of violating the Unauthorized Computer Access Law. The Japanese carrier has apologized for the incident and has vowed to make its security better. NTT Docomo vows to prevent such events from taking place in the future. The company has also set up a hotline for users to call if they have any issues with their personal info.

At the moment, NTT Docomo is yet to confirm if the data is in the hands of a third party. However, in a bid to handle any effect, the company says that it will contact users by email or a letter. The company’s official statement reads

“We take this incident very seriously and will make every effort to address our customers’ concerns. We will also work to further strengthen our personal information management system, including our subcontractor personal information management system, so that similar situations do not recur.”

Steps taken by NTT Docomo take to address the data breach

To address the data breach at NTT Docomo, the company took several steps to tackle the impact and prevent similar incidents in the future. These steps include:

1. Apology for the incident:

NTT Docomo issued a public apology for the data breach incident. The company did not deny the breach and did show regret for the potential impact on its users. In its apology letter, NTT Docomo said that it is doing all it can to ensure that the event doesnt happen again.

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2. Better security:

In response to the breach, NTT Docomo pledged to enhance its security measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. This may involve using stricter access controls to improve encryption protocols. Also, the company says that it will have more regular security audits moving forward.

3. Setting up a hotline for user concerns:

NTT Docomo set up a special hotline for users to address any concerns or inquiries related to the data breach. This allows affected users to seek assistance and guidance regarding their personal info. The company said that the hotline will be always active. Also, NTT reveals that it will send emails and messages to users with details of the hotline.

4. Cooperation with authorities:

NTT Docomo is working with law enforcement agencies to probe the incident and bring the culprit to justice. The former staff is already in police custody and the company says that he will face the law. The company also promised users that it will give all the nedded support to the law enforcement agencies to ensure that this case serves as a lesson to others who may be nursing similar ideas.

Previous cases

This is not the first time that NTT Docomo has been in the news for a data breach or theft. In 2005, a contractor was arrested for leaking personal info on 24,600 users of NTT Docomo, Japan Times reports. The data thief got mobile phone numbers and other personal data on the company’s users and sent a threatening email to NTT DoCoMo Systems Inc., an NTT DoCoMo affiliate. The leaked info included names, addresses, mobile phone numbers, and phone numbers used for inquiries.

In 2020, NTT Docomo admitted that ¥18 million had been stolen from bank accounts linked to its e-money service. The company said that it had confirmed a total of 25.42 million yen ($240,000) was stolen from users’ bank accounts in 120 cases where illegal deals were made using the e-money service. At the time, the company also issued an apology and promised to strengthen its data security.

Final Words

Over the years, NTT Docomo has been in the news for many cases of data breaches and thefts. The most recent case involves the stealing of 5.96 million pieces of info that belong to users. The person who stole the info is a former staff of NTT Nexia, a contractor for NTT Docomo. NTT Docomo claims that the former staff will face the full wrath of the law. The company also apologized to users and has set up different measures to tackle any potential effect. However, due to the fact that this is not the first time, users may have some reservations when dealing with the company.

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