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Published on February 22, 2024
Nationwide Outage Hits AT&T Hardest, Feds Probe Possible CyberattackSource: Wikipedia/Brownings at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Customers across the nation were left incommunicado today as AT&T, TMobile, and Verizon reported major service disruptions. AT&T was hit hardest, with a staggering number of complaints about both cell phone and home internet outages, as reported by The two other giants had customers facing similar connectivity blackouts, although with lesser reported volume. Meanwhile, federal agencies have sprung into action to investigate the disruptions, amid concerns they may be the result of nefarious cyber activities.

According to a report by ABC News, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are urgently probing whether Thursday's widespread outages are tied to a cyberattack. AT&T has advised its cutomers to utilize Wi-Fi for calls until the issue is resolved. “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," an AT&T spokesperson told ABC News.

The chaos extended to emergency services as police departments in multiple cities broadcasted alerts about the outage's impact on the vital ability to reach 9-1-1 services. “There is a nationwide AT&T outage that is preventing wireless customers from making and receiving any phone calls (including to 9-1-1)," relayed the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in North Carolina and Fairfax County Government in Virginia, warnings that spotlighted the severity of the situation.

While AT&T's outage permeated headlines, Verizon and T-Mobile both assured customers that their networks were operational. Verizon's spokesperson said, "Verizon's network is operating normally. Some customers experienced issues this morning when calling or texting with customers served by another carrier," assuaging concerns that the network hiccup was more widespread. T-Mobile echoed this sentiment, affirming to ABC News, "We did not experience an outage. Our network is operating normally. Down Detector is likely reflecting challenges our customers were having attempting to connect to users on other networks."

In the midst of the uncertainty and pending investigations, AT&T has reported full restoration of their services and extended an apology to their customers. "We have restored wireless service to all our affected customers. 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," the company announced on its website. Yet the root cause of this digital blackout remains under scrutiny, with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) also keeping a vigilant eye as it works to pinpoint whether this was just a glitch or the workings of a cyber saboteur, as reported by ABC News.

Miami-Community & Society