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Hackers Smack Comcast.net

Jeff Baumgartner
5/29/2008

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) confirmed today that yet-to-be-identified hackers obtained unauthorized access to its database records at Network Solutions and altered the MSO's account information so that visitors to the Comcast.net portal were temporarily redirected elsewhere.

The hacked redirects occurred over a three-hour period starting just prior to midnight Eastern Time, leaving millions of customers without access to the portal or their Webmail accounts. Customers, however, have been able to access email through resources such as Microsoft Outlook.

"We believe that our registration information at the vendor that registers the Comcast.net domain address was altered, which redirected the site and is the root cause of today's continued issues as well," said Comcast spokesman Charlie Douglas. "We have alerted law enforcement authorities, and we are working in conjunction with them."

The MSO stressed that there was no evidence that customer information or data was lost or compromised. Comcast and Network Solutions, the MSO's Web registrar vendor, are working on a plan to prevent such hacks from reoccurring.

One potential suggestion: Change passwords regularly and make them complicated.

According to Network Solutions spokeswoman Susan Wade, it's possible that an unauthorized person or persons made the changes using the user name and password for Comcast's account, but she emphasized that this component of the case is under investigation.

According to DSL Reports, Comcast customers who tried to access the portal this morning saw this on their browser screens, with this message:

    KRYOGENICS Defiant and EBK RoXed Comcast
    sHouTz to VIRUS Warlock elul21 coll1er seven
Some Comcast.net visitors were sent to one of Network Solutions's "under construction" pages.

Users are reporting that the Comcast.net portal is coming back online. At last check, it is still unavailable in some parts of the country, including southern Denver, as the MSO irons out some residual issues. The MSO says it will be "a matter of hours" before the system is back up across the board.

Comcast has about 14.1 million high-speed data customers and offers up to six email accounts to each residential subscriber.

—Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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