Rubio Warns of Attack ‘100 Times Worse’ Than AT&T Outage

U.S. Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, raised alarm bells Thursday of a catastrophic cyberattack from China in the wake of a massive cell phone outage affecting tens of thousands of Americans. While the cause of the outage was later revealed to have been a software update, Rubio indicated on social media that it was a sign of things to come, warning that the country could also suffer outages to their power, water, and even financial services.

The loss of service affected more than 73,000 AT&T customers, with the website Downdetector reporting a surge of outages before 8:00 am Thursday. Hours later, Rubio posted to X,

“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,”

His comments were echoed by Congressman and fellow Florida Republican Carlos Gimenez, who shared the post and commented, “Agreed, Senator [Marco Rubio]! Communist #China will continue to work overtime to undermine America & the free world.”

Senator Rick Scott also posted, “Florida law enforcement is doing everything it can to keep people safe, and I expect AT&T to keep us informed on what it is doing to get 911 services fully back online ASAP.”

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According to an Axios report, Florida was one of the states most affected, with over 900 outages reported in Miami alone. Most of the AT&T customers affected reported difficulties using their mobile phone service, while others reported being unable to use their phones at all. Customers unable to send calls or text messages reported seeing an ‘SOS’ symbol where their cell service bars were typically shown.

Coverage was restored to users around 3:00 pm Thursday. Shortly after, multiple federal agencies announced they were investigating the cause, including the FBI, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The FCC posted on X that they were “in touch with AT&T and public safety authorities, including FirstNet, as well as other providers,”

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AT&T later published a statement Thursday afternoon apologizing to their customers and announcing that their entire network had been restored, “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 said it was ruling out a cyber attack as the cause and blamed an error while applying a software update to their network.

“Based on our initial review, we believe that today’s outage was caused by the application and execution of an incorrect process used as we were expanding our network, not a cyber attack,”

On Thursday, an estimated 4,000 Verizon and 2,000 T-Mobile users also experienced problems with their service. Those outages were attributed to difficulties trying to connect with AT&T users.


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