Robert Siciliano identity theft expert
A single hacked email address led to the defacement of Comcast’s homepage. When the hackers called Comcast’s technical contact to let him know that the Comcast homepage and all 200 Comcast domain names were vulnerable, he hung up on them.
It has not been disclosed how the email was compromised, but there are many ways it could be. According to the indictment, the hackers got control of the domain with two phone calls, and an email was sent to the company’s domain registrar, Network Solutions, from a hacked Comcast email account. That gave them entry to the Network Solutions control panel for Comcast’s 200 domains.
The hackers, 19 and 20 at the time, known as Defiant and EBK from a group calling themselves Kryogeniks, scrawled, “KRYOGENIKS EBK and DEFIANT RoXed COMCAST sHouTz To VIRUS Warlock elul21 coll1er seven” across Comcast’s homepage after they were rebuffed by Comcast’s technical administrator. Their one mistake was changing the contact information for the Comcast.net domain to Defiant’s email address. Not a smart move from these brilliant hackers.
One method of compromising email accounts is simply going to the “forgot password” section of your email provider’s website and responding to a preselected personal question that you answered when signing up for the account. With a little research, the hacker has a good shot at finding the correct answer. Some of the current questions could be answered using information found on a user’s social networking profile, or through a website like Ancestry.com or Genealogy.com
I suggest that you check out the “forgot password” section on your own web-based email account, to see your current personal question. If it’s easy to answer, or would only require a little research to solve, update the question with one that you create based on opinion, as opposed to fact.
You should also beef up your password. Combine uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers. Don’t use consecutive numbers, and never use names of pets, family members, or close friends.
1. Get a credit freeze. Go online now and search “credit freeze” or “security freeze” and go to consumersunion.org and follow the steps for the state you live in. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name. This makes the SSN useless to the thief.
2. Invest in Intelius Identity Theft Protection and Protection. While not all forms of identity theft can be prevented, you can effectively manage your personal identifying information by knowing what’s buzzing out there in regards to YOU.
Robert Siciliano, identity theft speaker, discusses hacked email on FOX & Friends.