AT&T says its nationwide cellular outage was caused by a software update, not a cyberattack

  • The widespread AT&T cellular outage was caused by a software update, the network said.

  • The company said it was not caused by a cyber attack, despite federal agencies looking into the downtime.

  • The issue left some without service for close to 12 hours on Thursday and many angry customers.

AT&T says it believes its sweeping cellular outage that left customers without service for up to 12 hours on Thursday wasn't a cyberattack.

It was a software update gone wrong, AT&T said.

"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," AT&T said in a statement on Thursday evening.

The network said in the statement that it is continuing to assess the outage and ensuring it keeps "delivering the service that our customers deserve."

For many, that wasn't good enough. Angry AT&T customers have been posting on X, formerly Twitter, about the cellular outage. Some have asked for a discount on this month's bill, while others said they're switching to another network.

The cellular outage impacted tens of thousands of Americans and caused disruptions to some local emergency services since some people weren't able to make calls if they weren't connected to WiFi.

AT&T said that service had been fully restored by 3 p.m. ET.

Government officials were told that AT&T had no reason to think it was a cyberattack. but the White House announced Thursday afternoon that the FBI, Homeland Security, and FCC were looking into it.

The FCC declined to comment on whether it was still looking into the outage.

The FBI and Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment.

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