Comcast has hit the reset button on passwords of up to 200,000 customers after spotting an entire database its customers’ account details put up for sale on a darknet website.
It began when a trove of personal data containing email addresses and passwords belonging to hundreds of thousands of Comcast customers was listed for sale for $1,000. The listing was spotted by Twitter user @flanvel, who promptly took a screenshot of the listing:
Anyone notice the 590K emails/plaintext passwords allegedly from Comcast being sold? pic.twitter.com/jbASQP0E2Y
— flanvel (@flanvel) November 7, 2015
The above screenshot is of a brief list of 112 Comcast user accounts of an overall 100,000 accounts sold at roughly $300 USD in bitcoin. However, the listing was only served up as proof of existence of a much larger cache of user information that contained 590,000 Comcast accounts, which was put up for $1,000 USD, as reported by CSO.
Comcast Denies Data Breach
Cable giant Comcast obtained a copy of the account list being sold online and had its security engineers verify the authenticity of the data being sold. They discovered 200,000 of the 590,000 account records listed belonged to active accounts, whereas the remaining details on the list was either outdated or false. To leave no stone unturned, all passwords on the matching accounts have been reset.
The company claimed that it had not been hacked and noted that none of its systems, networks or applications had been compromised in connection to the breach.
Comcast spokeswoman Jenni Moyer said:
There’s no evidence that this is a breach, but we are working with the customers who were impacted to secure their account.
Furthermore, it’s entirely likely that Comcast paid for the listing of the stolen data itself, to quickly cross-reference the obtained plaintext email addresses and passwords before resetting the passwords of all compromised accounts.
A majority of the 590,000 account listings are said to include recycled information from previous account dumps that have already been sold online. The seller of the big list of Comcast account data was even tagged a scammer by cybercriminals operating in the dark net marketplace, due to the recycled nature of the information which altogether served the list as an aggregate of previously known account information combined with new account details.
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