Around 4 million Time Warner personal records exposed in data leak
04 September, 2017, 16:17
Customer data for units of Charter Communications Inc. and other companies was left unprotected online in data stockpiles that Broadsoft Inc. kept online, security company Kromtech Alliance Corp. wrote on a company blog. More sensitive customer information, such as credit card information or Social Security numbers, was not apparently compromised in the leak, the Gizmodo report said. However, the cache size made it hard for the researchers to pinpoint the exact number of affected persons.
There are some databases that had phone numbers, billing addresses and additional contact info for hundreds of thousands of TWC subscribers.
Charter Communications - which acquired Time Warner Cable in 2016 and renamed it as Spectrum - said the exposed information was immediately removed after the discovery and the incident is now being investigated along with BroadSoft.
On the other hand, the two Amazon S3 buckets also contained duplicate information meaning that there were less than 4 million people exposed to cyber threats.
"A vendor has notified us that certain non-financial information of legacy Time Warner Cable customers who used the MyTWC app became potentially visible by external sources", Charter Communications Inc (NASDAQ:), Time Warner Cable's parent, said in an email. Engineers are deemed to have accidentally leaked not only partner data but also internal sensitive data to malicious individuals.
Kromtech's chief communications officer, Bob Diachenko, said that "Hackers continually use leaked or hacked information to commit other tremendous crimes".
"Protecting customer privacy is of the utmost importance to us", the firm said.
It has advised MyTWC users to change their user names and passwords. It shows that companies are still making rookie mistakes when handling data, and suggests that they need to implement more stringent (and importantly, continuous) oversight of their partners to keep your data secure. One of the repositories was secured nearly immediately following the email warning, despite claims by an India-based BroadSoft engineer (in an email response to Kromtech) that the repository had nothing to do with the cloud-based unified comms specialist.
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