Time Warner Cable said late Wednesday (6th Jan 2016) that hackers may have stolen up to 320,000 customers’ email passwords.
The second-largest cable company in the U.S. said it is still investigating how the information was pilfered, but it does not believe its systems were actually breached.
The company said it’s likely that digital thieves either collected the data using malware planted on customers’ devices through fraudulent emails — a so-called phishing attack — or through breaches at other companies that store Time Warner Cable customer information.
The FBI first notified Time Warner Cable about the possible compromise, a company representative told Reuters.
The company said it is alerting potentially compromised customers directly via email or direct mail.
Time Warner Cable is not the first cable company to have its customers’ data exposed to hackers.
In 2014, a member of the infamous hacking group Lizard Squad was able to gain access to a portal containing customer information at Cox, the country’s third-largest cable company.
The company eventually agreed to pay $595,000 to settle charges brought by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) after the incident. The FCC said the fine was the first privacy action the agency’s enforcement bureau had taken against a cable operator.
There has been no indication of whether Time Warner Cable will face similar action.
More recently, Comcast, the country’s largest cable company, told 200,000 customers to reset their passwords after a list of Comcast customer login information went up for sale on the dark Web