Hackers have potentially gained access to the data of hundreds of thousands of Time Warner Cable customers. The Time Warner Cable security breach was discovered by the FBI, which tipped off TWC last week. Affected individuals are now in the process of being notified.

320,000 customers potentially affected by Time Warner Cable security breach

The Time Warner Cable security breach was announced on Wednesday last week. Scant information was initially provided to the media about the security breach and how customer data came to be stolen by cybercriminals.

According to a statement released by the company, there has been no indication that the company’s computer systems were compromised in a cyberattack, and customers have only been advised to change their passwords as a precaution. The company advised customers via email as well as direct mail that their email addresses and passwords may have been compromised.

Over the next few days, further information about the Time Warner Cable security breach was released. At first a statement said residential customers were affected across all markets. It later came to light that the data were stolen not from TWC, but from a third party who had access to customer information.

Investigations into the TWC data breach are continuing, but at this present moment it would appear that the Time Warner Cable security breach only affects Roadrunner email accounts (rr.com).

Customers have been directed to resources where they are provided with further information about how to identify a phishing attack. There is a possibility that affected individuals will be contacted via email by the data thieves in an attempt to obtain further information that can be used to commit identity theft or fraud.

However, what will be particularly worrying for the victims is not the possibility that they may be subjected to future phishing campaigns but what confidential information they have in their email accounts. Email accounts may contain highly sensitive information about an individual which, in the wrong hands, could be used to cause considerable harm.

The information in an email account could allow a cybercriminal to build up a highly detailed knowledge of an individual. That information could then be used to conduct a phishing campaign or cyberattack on that individual’s contacts.

Last year, Ping Identity conducted a survey on 1,000 enterprise employees in the United States and discovered that almost two thirds of respondents shared passwords between work and personal accounts. Data in personal email accounts could also potentially be used to conduct phishing campaigns on employees with a view to gaining access to their employer’s computer network.

As a precaution against fraudulent use of any information, all affected customers should change their email password promptly. It would also be a wise move for any individual who has a roadrunner email account to also change their password, even if a breach notice letter or email is not received.

TWC is America’s second largest cable company and serves 16 million customers across 29 states.