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3/17/2009
02:02 PM
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Comcast Customer Usernames, Passwords Exposed In Possible Phishing Attack

List of accounts was 8,000, but Comcast says only 700 were active customer accounts

A Comcast customer yesterday discovered his and a list of other usernames and passwords exposed online, according to published reports.

Kevin Andreyo, an educational technology specialist and professor at Wilkes University, told The New York Times that he found the list on a document-sharing Website, Scribd. "That isn't just my password for Comcast, it's my password for everything that is not tied to my credit card," Andreyo said. "It's one thing to publish a credit card number, but to hand over user IDs and passwords for accounts is another. Someone could just go in and pull up all your archived messages, and then they have everything about you."

The list contains around 8,000 lines' worth of usernames and passwords, but Comcast says about 700 lines are associated with active Comcast user accounts. The rest of the users on the list were duplicates, inactive accounts, or not Comcast customers, according to the Internet service provider .

A Comcast spokeswoman told the Times that the users exposed on the list may have been victims of a phishing attack of some sort, and that the data didn't appear to come out of Comcast itself because there were no actual account numbers, and some of the data was redundant. Meanwhile, the ISP has frozen the email accounts of its victimized customers and is contacting them. "We have no reason to believe this came from Comcast. It looks like a phishing or related type of scheme," the spokeswoman said.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message Kelly Jackson Higgins is Senior Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise Magazine, ... View Full Bio

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