Cybersecurity

Patriot Mobile, ‘America’s only Christian conservative wireless provider,’ reportedly breached by hacker

The carrier’s website was also leaking customer data, according to a report.
article cover

Burcu Demir/Getty Images

· less than 3 min read

Top insights for IT pros

From cybersecurity and big data to cloud computing, IT Brew covers the latest trends shaping business tech in our 4x weekly newsletter, virtual events with industry experts, and digital guides.

Texas-based, conservative-branded cellular carrier Patriot Mobile has lost a trove of customer data to hackers, according to TechCrunch.

TechCrunch reported that “a hacker who claimed responsibility for the breach” shared a sample of data stolen from Patriot Mobile. The outlet confirmed that the data was authentic, partly because Patriot’s website has an “apparent bug” that’s leaking some of the same information.”

The leaked data includes full names, email addresses, home zip codes, and the PINs to Patriot Mobile accounts, TechCrunch reported. It’s not clear how many users were affected, but the company has a small subscriber base. The Dallas Morning News reported that as of 2022, Recon Analytics wireless industry consultant Roger Entner estimated the company had under 100,000 customers.

Patriot Mobile didn’t respond to IT Brew’s request for comment by publication. Texas state law requires that any company suffering a data breach affecting 250 or more state residents report the incident to the Texas Attorney General within 30 days.

Patriot Mobile brands itself as “America’s only Christian conservative wireless provider,” falling squarely into a niche market for similarly themed businesses that has sprung up in recent years. The Dallas Morning News reported that Patriot executives fueled a right-wing political action committee with $650,000 in funding in 2022, spending sums that reportedly earned the firm significant influence in Texas politics and on school boards, in particular. Patriot Mobile has also helped sponsor events like the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Patriot Mobile doesn’t operate its own networks. Instead, it’s what’s called a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), a type of firm that leases and resells service from bigger carriers. The company has tweeted that it leases its network from AT&T and T-Mobile.

The biggest selling point of MVNOs tends to be pricing, although offerings lean toward no-frills plans that don’t necessarily have the same coverage areas as the bigger carriers they lease from. Those larger carriers have plenty of cybersecurity issues of their own. This March, AT&T reset millions of customer account passcodes after a 2019 leak of customer data appeared online, while T-Mobile suffered at least two breaches in 2023.

Top insights for IT pros

From cybersecurity and big data to cloud computing, IT Brew covers the latest trends shaping business tech in our 4x weekly newsletter, virtual events with industry experts, and digital guides.