AT&T outage caused by software update, not external actor, company says

In a statement released by AT&T, the company said the outage was not a cyberattack but caused by "the application and execution of an incorrect process used as we were expanding our network."

A software update is being blamed for the disruption of services Thursday for thousands of AT&T customers in the United States, according to Reuters.

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In a statement released by AT&T, the company said the outage was not a cyberattack but caused by “the application and execution of an incorrect process used as we were expanding our network.”

“We are continuing our assessment of today’s outage to ensure we keep delivering the service that our customers deserve,” the statement posted Thursday afternoon continued.

The outage began around 4 a.m. on Thursday and continued until about 2 p.m. Soon after the outage began, thousands of AT&T customers began reporting issues with calling, texting and accessing the internet on their mobile devices.

At one point, more than 74,000 AT&T customers reported outages on DownDetector, a site that culls customer complaints about digital services.

Several local governments said on Thursday that the outage was causing disruptions in emergency services calls, however, an AT&T spokesman said the company’s FirstNet network, used for those services, remained operational despite the outage, CNN reported.

Two confidential sources briefed on the situation told ABC News that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security had been investigating the outage to determine whether it was the result of a cyberattack or a hack, or if the issue was a technical one.

The Federal Communications Commission had been in touch with AT&T to figure out what caused the outage, according to National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby.

“We are being told AT&T has no reason to think this was a cyber or security incident,” Kirby said.

AT&T’s 5G network covers around 290 million people across the United States.

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