Comcast home page hacked

The company's Web portal was hacked on Wednesday leaving subscribers unable to access their Web e-mail.

Marguerite Reardon Former senior reporter
Marguerite Reardon started as a CNET News reporter in 2004, covering cellphone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate and the consolidation of the phone companies.
Marguerite Reardon

Comcast's Web portal has been hacked, leaving some subscribers unable to access their e-mail.

A company spokeswoman confirmed that the Comcast Web page had been hacked late on Wednesday. Subscribers who tried to access the site to check e-mail or access the company's official forums were greeted with this text instead:

The hackers apparently changed Comcast's registrar account at Network Solutions, which altered the DNS servers that were used to direct Comcast.net requests. In other words, the hackers essentially redirected traffic destined for the URL Comcast.net. Instead, the traffic went to IP addresses in Germany and elsewhere, reported the blog Broadband Reports.

Comcast has stopped the traffic from being redirected to bogus servers, but users were still having trouble accessing the page as of 11:30 a.m. EDT. The reason is that it could take hours for the redirected traffic to propagate through DNS servers throughout the Internet.

So far there is no indication that any of Comcast's customers' personal or private information has been jeopardized. But the incident serves as a reminder of how vulnerable users of Web e-mail can be. Security experts recommend that users change their passwords frequently. Ideally, people should change them once a week. If that seems too difficult, changing passwords once a month is still better than nothing. Experts also warn not to use birthdates, pet names or even family names as passwords. Instead, use mixed up letters and numbers.