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Time Warner Cable Suffers Data Breach

 

January 11, 2016 | DevOps | joanna mastrocola

 

If you’re like most people who use the same password for multiple accounts, you might want to re-think your strategy. Time Warner Cable (TWC) recently announced that the passwords for more than more than 320,000 customers’ email accounts had been hacked. This means that the information you put in your emails is also at risk. This is especially troubling if you tend to duplicate your passwords, as a hacker can easily try it out on a combination of things, having all the information they need to make fraudulent online purchases on your credit card  or access your personal bank information.

The FBI initially alerted TWC to the breach. Time Warner cable maintains that it is not at fault for the hack, stating that it was possibly caused “through data breaches of other companies that stored TWC customer information, including email addresses”.  The breach is likely to have only affected those in Time Warner’s Roadrunner service (email addresses ending in rr.com) however, all customers are urged to change their passwords as a precaution. In the wake of the hack, it is important to not only change these passwords but also those for all of your other accounts, as this information is typically sold on the dark web. 

As of now, the reason for how or why the breach occurred is mere speculation and new details are sure to emerge in the coming weeks. Regardless of whether the breach is the business’s fault directly, it is important for enterprises who suffer a breach to avoid deflecting blame. Leaders in the organization should commit themselves to reviewing the company’s internal security processes and ensure that all security measures are up to par and adequately protect the infrastructure. 

It is troubling that this breach, and similar breaches, are typically labeled as minor since only passwords and email addresses are exposed. It seems we have become so desensitized to these massive hacks, that unless our social security number is taken, we see the event as  insignificant. There is no longer an expectation of security and we are less outraged and more placid of breaches as each new one occurs.

Studies have found that three out of four people use duplicate passwords for multiple accounts. This makes the exposure of your email and password information even worse, since these same credentials can be used to login to a variety of different accounts. Since people do not react as strongly to these types of breaches, they often forget to change all of their passwords, accounts remaining vulnerable for months after they changed the one profile that was exposed. All enterprises must do a better job of securing information, no matter how minor the data may seem, and must be more proactive in ensuring that third party providers are adhering to strict security policies as well.

 

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