Roughly 320,000 Time Warner Cable customers are being told to change their email passwords this week after the company announced Wednesday that hackers may have gained access to them.
The move comes after the F.B.I. notified the telecommunications giant that someone may have gained access to TWC customer information. It’s still unclear exactly how someone may have been able to do this, but Time Warner claims customers’ information may have been accessed via “malware downloaded during phishing attacks or indirectly through data breaches of other companies that stored TWC customer information, including email addresses.”
When reached Thursday, Eric Mangan a spokesman for Time Warner Cable told Threatpost that there are no indications that the company’s systems were breached, and that its encouraging users to change their email passwords – both through email and direct mail – as a precaution.
According to a NBC News report last night, customers who have email accounts through Roadrunner, TWC’s webmail portal – rr.com, are believed to be implicated in the incident.
“For those customers whose account information was stolen, we are contacting them individually to make them aware and to help them reset their passwords. Additionally, through our website we provide several tips for how to navigate the Web more carefully and how to avoid phishing schemes,” Mangan said.
If Time Warner is ultimately blamed for failing to secure user information, many expect the news to draw the ire of not only the Federal Trade Commission, but the Federal Communications Commission.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler spoke with Consumer Technology Association CEO Gary Shapiro during a CES panel Wednesday and touched on a handful of issues, including the commission’s stance on transparency, security, and privacy.
“Network privacy is something we’ve always been involved in… I think that one of our challenges is to make sure we’re consistent with the kind of thoughtful, rational approach that the FTC has taken…” Wheeler said, “There’s a responsibility if you’re going to be collecting information — if an ISP is going to be collecting information about me — they’ve got a responsibility to make sure it’s going to be held secure.”
The FCC is still in the middle of reviewing Charter Communications Inc.’s purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc. If completed, the $55.1 billion deal, first announced last May, would make the entity the second-largest cable and broadband provider in the country.