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AT&T says outage caused by a software glitch, not cyberattack

AT&T (T) issued a statement claiming Thursday's nationwide outage was caused by an error with a software update. The company affirmed that the outage did not appear to be caused by a cyberattack, as some had initially feared.

Yahoo Finance Anchors Brad Smith and Seana Smith discuss the outage and AT&T's statement.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.

Editor's note: This article was written by Nicholas Jacobino

Video transcript

SEANA SMITH: All right. Let's get to AT&T issuing a statement saying that the widespread outage that took hours to resolve yesterday was caused by a software update and that it was not a cyber attack. Now the company explaining that the disruption was caused by an error that happened when it was expanding its network. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are investigating the AT&T outage, which affected more than 1.7 million customers.

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Certainly, tens of thousands of customers reported outages throughout the day yesterday. Lots of speculation about exactly what was the cause of it. It seems obviously AT&T clearing up any uncertainty. They're saying the cyber attack was not responsible for this wireless outage, that it was actually due to a software issue. But still clearly affecting many of its users.

I think what investors are asking here this morning, Brad, is what this means to the bottom line if there's any real impact whether or not, that's on a quarterly basis in the long term, not too likely. But you would think there is some backlash from some of their users after what played out yesterday.

BRAD SMITH: Yeah, certainly hit the stock price. We saw that react as we were tracking this throughout the day. You got to wonder, especially with outages like this, if some of the investments that we're hearing about from these companies and we spoke with John Stankey, the AT&T CEO just last Friday about some of those investments that they're making specifically in AI.

And what AI can do for making it easier to find out where the sources of these outages are and remediating them that much quicker. I'm not sure or certain if it will definitively but that is at least something that the companies are putting on the docket for their spending to shore up the network and the service level agreements that they do have with all their customers.

But no doubt this was one of the top trending just business stories yesterday and frustrations that we had seen from some disgruntled customers out there that weren't able to download that cat video.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, certainly, there's a lot of people who are upset and many people here in our newsroom, who did not have service at least for the first part of yesterday.