The dreaded 205 error code - Information from the AT&T Community
Learn what is going on and what need to do to secure & update your email account
2/1/2023: Our teams are working on 2-Factor Authentication. This will be rolled out to a few customers to start. This will help increase security to prevent bad actors from attempting to access the account.
I know the 205 error code is a bit maddening, but we're here to explain why it's happening and what you can do to prevent it from occurring. In addition, our internet teams are aware of the problem and working quickly to resolve it. To regain access, you will need to reset your password and update your security questions.
We are in an age where everything is online and there are those out there taking advantage of that. These bad actors are trying to get into everything and anything like your emails, where this useful information is found. I wish it was something AT&T could control with a switch but at the end of the day, it is a bad actor on the other side of the keyboard. I myself fell victim to this when someone got access to one of my streaming accounts.
What AT&T is doing
AT&T Security is investigating this and blocking IP addresses of those bad actors who make these login attempts. We also are locking the accounts to protect your email. You may see alert codes like:
- Error code 205.2 - you'll have to wait a full 24 hours before resetting your password. Attempting to sign in before the full 24 hours will reset the 24-hour timer.
- Error code 203.3 or FL002 - you'll have to reach out to our teams directly.
On Friday, August 26, 2022, our teams began blocking VPN Providers that were allowing bad actors to target AT&T email. They also implement a backend fix alongside the blocks. The good news, we are seeing a reduction in attacks. We are NOT done though - because of the nature of the issue, our email teams will continue to monitor this and take action.
What you can do to get back into your email
- Clear cache and cookies
- Reset your password.
- Once reset, select "keep me signed in" - this can help prevent bad actors from accessing the account as well
There is a chance you are locked out and a password reset is the only way back in. Please note, that you may need to wait 24 hours before attempting a password reset, depending on if your account was targeted.
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself below.
Please note: AT&T is no longer able to provide verbal password resets due to security reasons. For both free and current internet subscribers, you can reset it online. For free accounts, security questions and recovery emails should have been set up prior.
Secure your email account
Learn what you need to do to make your email safe like changing your email password, securing your computer, and more.
Update your security questions & answers
- Go to Profile and then Sign-in info.
- In the Online security questions section, select Change security questions.
- Complete and save your security questions and answers.
Don't out your email for offers or prizes
Unfortunately, there are some offers and sites that are too good to be true and these nefarious parties take advantage of that. So, be careful with what you share. I tend to give an email that is not associated with my main email I use for bills or personal communications, I use a generic one.
Secure your device
As with above, there are some sites out there that are hot spots for viruses. Untrustworthy sites are a hotbed for digital thievery. You can protect yourself by only visiting trusted sites and protecting your browsing experience with virus protection for your computer or device. AT&T does offer a security suite for qualifying internet subscriptions. At the end of the day, virus protection can help make sure your experience is more secure.
If you have other questions regarding your email experience, please visit our AT&T Email Forums Support Page.
ChrisZ, AT&T Community Specialist