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06 September 2017, 12:24 | Ruby West
Around 4 million Time Warner personal records exposed in data leak
A researcher for Kromtech discovered records for more than four million customers of Charter division Time Warner Cable and other companies' data that the research firm says Broadsoft stored on Amazon.com Inc.'s cloud service.
The company said its early analysis suggested the information belonged to Broadsoft - which developed the MyTWC app.
"We see more and more examples of how bad actors use leaked or hacked data for a range of crimes or other unethical purposes."
The records went far as back as November 2010, predating Charter's 2016 acquisition of Time Warner Cable for US$78.7 billion, including assumed debt.
Other databases revealed billing addresses, phone numbers, and other contact info for at least hundreds of thousands of TWC subscribers. There were also some internal company records like credentials for external systems, internal emails, and SQL database dumps.
"The problem is that the repository was configured to allow public access and exposed extremely sensitive data in the process".
The data included usernames, email addresses, MAC addresses, device serial numbers and financial transaction information, although it doesn't appear that social security numbers or credit card information was involved.
"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, Time Warner Cable's parent, said in a statement.
Verizon isn't the only big United States telecom whose corporate ally left customer data out in the open.
BroadSoft later told Gizmodo that it locked down its Amazon data (Charter says it was taken down) and has not seen evidence that intruders accessed the information. While it's unclear how numerous customers are still current subscribers, if you happen to be a TWC (now Charter Spectrum) customer, it's a great idea to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity related to any of your accounts for the immediate future. Engineers are deemed to have accidentally leaked not only partner data but also internal sensitive data to malicious individuals.
The company said that there is now no indication that Charter's systems were impacted, but advised its customers who do use the MyTWC app to change their login credentials.
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