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Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

John Binns, a 21-year-old American who now lives in Turkey, told the Wall Street Journal that he was behind the T-Mobile security breach that affected more than 50 million people earlier this month.

The intrigue: Binns said he broke through the T-Mobile defenses after discovering an unprotected router exposed on the internet, after scanning the carrier's internet addresses for weak spots using a publicly available tool.

  • “I was panicking because I had access to something big,” he wrote in Telegram messages to the Journal. “Their security is awful.”
  • “Generating noise was one goal,” Binns said. He declined to say whether he sold any of the information he stole, or whether he was paid for the hack.

The big picture: It was the third major data leak the network has disclosed in the last two years, per WSJ. T-Mobile is the second-largest U.S. mobile carrier, housing the data of around 90 million cellphones.

Background: Some of the information exposed in the breach included names, dates of birth, social security numbers and personal ID information. The breach is being investigated Seattle's FBI office, according to the Journal.

Go deeper

3 ex-U.S. intelligence officials confess to hacking for UAE

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Three former U.S. intelligence officers agreed to pay nearly $1.7 million in penalties over three years after admitting to violating U.S. hacking and export laws while employed by the United Arab Emirates, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The men confessed to supplying the UAE government with advanced offensive cyber technology that could be used to illegally gain access to computers, including mobile phones, around the world.

Special Envoy for Haiti resigns over Biden deportations

Daniel Foote testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on May 26, 2016. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Special Envoy for Haiti on Wednesday resigned from his position, writing in his resignation letter obtained by PBS that he "will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees."

Why it matters: Ambassador Daniel Foote's resignation comes amid heightened anger over the treatment of Haitian migrants and asylum-seekers living in a temporary encampment in Del Rio, Texas — especially after images surfaced of Border Patrol agents whipping at the migrants from horseback.

First-time homebuyers shrink as prices spike

Data: National Association of Realtors; Chart: Axios Visuals

Home sales cooled as prices continued to heat up in August.

Driving the news: The share of first-time existing homebuyers (29%) last month was the smallest in two years, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors.