Monday, July 22, 2024
HomeNews ReportsUSA: Widespread disruption of AT&T cellular service, Change Healthcare's pharmacy business, Florida senator speculates...

USA: Widespread disruption of AT&T cellular service, Change Healthcare’s pharmacy business, Florida senator speculates about ‘Chinese cyber attack’

"Change Healthcare is experiencing a network interruption related to a cyber security issue and our experts are working to address the matter. Once we became aware of the outside threat, in the interest of protecting our partners and patients, we took immediate action to disconnect our systems to prevent further impact," Change Healthcare said in a statement.

AT&T, an American telecom company whose 5G network serves about 290 million people in the United States, experienced service disruptions for more than 10 hours Thursday (22nd February). Thousands of people were unable to make calls or send text messages due to the widespread cellular phone outage. As reported by ANI, the Federal agencies then launched an investigation following the hours-long outage.

Later in the day, AT&T announced that three-quarters of its affected network had been restored, and it is working to restore services to all remaining users promptly.

Although Verizon and T-Mobile customers experienced occasional network failures too, they were significantly less common. These two companies indicated their networks were untouched by AT&T’s service outage, and consumers reporting difficulties may not have been able to contact AT&T customers, ANI reported.

AT&T confirmed a widespread outage but did not explain the system breakdown.

“Some of our customers are experiencing wireless service interruptions this morning. We are working urgently to restore service to them. We encourage the use of Wi-Fi calling until service is restored,” AT&T could be quoted as saying in the statement.

By late morning on Friday (23rd February), AT&T said most of its network was back online. “Our network teams took immediate action and so far, three-quarters of our network has been restored,” the company said. “We are working as quickly as possible to restore service to remaining customers,” it added.

Although AT&T provided no official explanation for the outage, reports stated that the problem appeared to be related to how cellular services transfer off calls from one network to the next, a process known as ‘peering’. 

However, no evidence suggests that Thursday’s outage was caused by a cyberattack or other criminal behavior, CNN reported. As a result of this enormous outage, AT&T’s stock sank more than 2% on Thursday (22nd February) a day when the market was soaring higher.

Several municipal governments meanwhile said that AT&T’s outage caused disruptions in their services. San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management confirmed on Thursday (22nd February) morning that its 911 center was still working, although many AT&T customers were unable to access the emergency line due to the outage. It is recommended that consumers contact 911 from a landline or find someone who uses a competitor’s service.

The Fire Department in Upper Arlington, Ohio, reported that the AT&T outage was disrupting its fire alarms. Residents in St. Joseph County, Michigan, were advised to use Wi-Fi to place 911 calls if they were unable to reach 911 on AT&T’s network. Officials with the New York Police Department stated that they were unable to make calls or send emails on AT&T phones Thursday (22nd February) morning unless they were linked to Wi-Fi.

Florida senator speculates about ‘Chinese cyber attack’

Responding to the major cellular outage across the US, Florida Senator Marco Rubio warned that the situation could worsen if China conducts a cyberattack on the country while ‘invading’ Taiwan.

“I don’t know the cause of the AT&T outage But I do know it will be 100 times worse when #China launches a cyber attack on America on the eve of a #Taiwan invasion And it won’t be just cell service they hit, it will be your power, your water, and your bank,” Rubio posted on X.

Pharmacies down in USA as Change Healthcare faces cyberattack

Apart from this, as reported by Fox News, the country’s top healthcare technology company, Change Healthcare also faced a cyberattack. Pharmacies throughout the country experienced prescription order delays as a result of a cyber attack on one of the country’s top healthcare technology companies.

Change Healthcare, a company that handles orders and patient payments across the United States discovered the “cyber security issue” affecting its network on Wednesday (21st February) morning on the East Coast.

“Change Healthcare is experiencing a network interruption related to a cyber security issue and our experts are working to address the matter. Once we became aware of the outside threat, in the interest of protecting our partners and patients, we took immediate action to disconnect our systems to prevent further impact,” Change Healthcare said in a statement.

The problems began on Wednesday after a “suspected nation-state associated cybersecurity threat actor” gained access to Change Healthcare’s information technology systems, UnitedHealth said in a filing on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Pharmacies around the country reportedly have issued alerts that the attack on Change Healthcare is impeding their ability to process patient orders. “The estimated date for resolving this issue will be tomorrow or later. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on our progress.” the official statement read.

Amid concerns over a probable Chinese invasion of Taiwan, US President Joe Biden has stated that Washington would “intervene militarily” if Beijing attempts to take Taipei by force. 

Join OpIndia's official WhatsApp channel

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -