US telecom giant AT&T sued 25 unnamed data brokers, accusing them of fraudulently gaining access to about 2,500 customers' calling records, a Reuters report said.
The report said the lawsuit, filed in a US District Court division in San Antonio, claimed that the "John Doe" defendants often collected information for use in legal or domestic disputes.
AT&T said they used a method known as "pretexting," or setting up online accounts by using identification data such as Social Security numbers, according to the Reuters report.
Through the online accounts, the brokers obtained access to customer information, including calling records, the report said.
No driver's license numbers or sensitive financial data were accessible, the company said.
AT&T said the lawsuit was a step toward identifying the perpetrators by using email addresses and IP addresses and to seek damages, the report said.The company said it had already contacted customers who might have been affected and had taken steps to prevent such violations, the report further said.