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ATTChrisZ
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Employee

Employee

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161 Messages

Thu, Jul 14, 2022 3:51 PM

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

Update

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.

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

The culprit?

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.

Update

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

  1. Clear cache and cookies
  2. Reset your password.

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. 

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

  1. Go to Profile and then Sign-in info.
  2. In the Online security questions section, select Change security questions.
  3. Complete and save your security questions and answers.

Learn more about security questions.

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 

*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
vrapp35

Contributor

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29 Messages

3 months ago

What concerns me in ChrisZ's post is that he says that this is because the hackers keep attacking every account and actually lock them up. When all signs of how it actually transpires say it's broken password verification: the message shows up not after you enter the ID, but after you enter the password. And it absolutely never actually works, which statistically would be occasionally the case if the story about the hackers was true. The lady who called me mentioned that this is related to some new security features they are implementing, I guess by the offshored hands. I can speculate that the actual issue may be something as trivial as wRoNg CaSe in password comparison.

(edited)

tonydi

ACE - Guru

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8.4K Messages

3 months ago

Yes, the system has a trigger to lock the account after 6 failed login attempts.  For a hacker, that's a fraction of a second with even the most basic password cracking tools out there. 

The problem comes when you try and fix it and run into the disaster than is the Yahoo/AT&T database system.  That's the one where you're offered secret questions you've never answered (like on the really old legacy accounts), or ones where the questions would never be ones you'd pick (like sister's middle name when you don't have any sisters).  It's no shock that even trying to work around the problem runs into more problems.

Security feature......🤣🤣🤣🤣

That's something that could be immediately rolled back.  One of my relatives used to work on the Hotmail team at Microsoft.  They'd roll out some new feature and many times it would bork the whole system.  Do you think they spent months undoing it?   No, they spent minutes.  These days big enterprises like this roll out new features in phases, across some subset of their servers just to avoid massive outages like used to happen.

mbrecon

New Member

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16 Messages

3 months ago

I called in the other day and was transferred around about 3 times.  The last guy was with DSA(?)  He sent me a link to reset my pw and didn't work or course.  He then cleared the "security log" for my id.  Knock on wood, we have had very few issues since then and that was about a week ago.

Contributor

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10 Messages

3 months ago

I’m also locked out of my email. Waited 24 hours and still can’t reset password. 

New Member

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1 Message

3 months ago

Yep also completely locked out of email account that have been using for over 15 years.  Online password reset does not work as it says "Do not have enough information to reset password please call 800 number".   Called the 800 number was basically told need to create a new email account until ATT starts allowing verbal resets again, which will most likely never happen so good bye to 15 years of emails.  May just have to move my ATT wireless services, that my family also have used for over 20 years, to another provider and set up my new email with them.

(edited)

New Member

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1 Message

3 months ago

Well, yeah.. the verbal options were removed and its also not possible to add new recovery options on the account while on phone/ chat.

The only options are the ones which were added while logged in previously,.. meaning secondary email or a phone nr for pw in text. 

But i do understand that these are FREE emails and i never paid a cent for them.

So maybe its just easier to create some gmail accounts i never had issues with instead of resetting password every week for months and months... 

Kikib99

New Member

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16 Messages

3 months ago

I think I would like to do the same thing......switch to the gmail account.  I have three e mail accounts and do not want to change my e mail addresses.  Can't figure out how to do that !  Can you tell me where to get instructions on this.  I have been told I cannot keep my bellsouth address if I go to Gmail.  Thank you.

New Member

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9 Messages

3 months ago

@TangoMango_1  Getting a different email address is really our only true option. I still say shame on AT&T for not doing more to secure their email server.  My sbcglobal.net email address was a paid account.  Lesson learned for sure. 

tonydi

ACE - Guru

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8.4K Messages

3 months ago

@Kikib99   Not sure what "switch to the gmail account" means when you then say "do not want to change my email addresses.   "Switching" to Gmail, using the instructions below, means you're still going to have to tell people and companies to use your Gmail account.

In your Gmail account go to Settings->Show All Settings and then click on Accounts and Import.  Select Import mail and contacts and input your Yahoo/AT&T email credentials into the setup.

When you're done, Gmail will begin copying your email from the Yahoo/AT&T email account into your Gmail account, including all folders.  If you opted in for Contacts, it will copy those over too.

If you have a ton of email to copy, it can actually take a day or even more, so be patient if you don't see everything right away.

It will continue to bring over any new email that comes into your Yahoo/AT&T account for 30 days.

This has absolutely zero affect on your Yahoo/AT&T email account, it will function (or not 🙄) exactly as it has up until now.

Kikib99

New Member

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16 Messages

3 months ago

Thank you for your response.  I didn't want to have to do all that.  I have a business and two personal e mails.  If it comes down to that I guess I will eventually have to do it.  Thanks again.

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