T-Mobile yesterday revealed that hackers may have stolen the personal data of two million of its US customers.

The company last announced a breach in 2015, which affected 15 million US customers and applicants.

This latest breach, in a long line of million-strong breaches, is contributing to a "systemic malaise", according to Charl van der Walt, chief security strategy officer at SecureData, which has offices in Maidstone, London, Brimingham, and Reading.

"[It] is starting to impact society at a fundamental level, as the recent Facebook / Cambridge Analytics incident illustrates," said the cybersecurity expert and commentator.

"Pandora’s box has been opened, the evil is out, and there’s not much we can do to put it back."

Van der Walt believes that putting an end to these massive dataleaks could take decades and will require “political will and deep commitment from business, government, and the security industry,” before they over.

The data of up to 23 million customers is now "irretrievably 'out there'", he said, and could be subject to abuse for cyber-attacks who could use the information for phishing, spam, identify theft and other forms of fraud. 

"Those people have been violated and there’s no way to make it right,” he said.

In a post on T-Mobile’s website, the company told its customers: "We truly regret that this incident occurred and are so sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you."

Van der Walt added: "Regulatory fines, SEC penalties and civil law suits may all follow.

"But none of this is likely to change the fundamental fact that billions of these kinds of records are being leaked to the Internet at a growing rate with all the implications for privacy, digital security and person safety that that brings."