Xfinity Writhes; 36 Million Records Breached via Vendor Vulnerability
Table of Contents
- By Steven
- Dec 22, 2023
Xfinity is the name of Comcast Communications’ internet, TV, and phone service; it is the most significant cabled internet service in the states, with more than 32 million residential customers. Available in 39 contiguous states and the capital, the service provides communication solutions for individuals, companies, institutions, and clinical networks. Xfinity’s vast influence has made them a target for cybercriminals. In October, the company was under attack again; this time, the criminals used a vendor vulnerability.
How Did the Attack Occur?
2023 has been the year of vendor vulnerabilities for cybercriminals. In May, the world was alarmed by the prevalence of Progress Software’s MOVEit breach; worldwide, thousands of organizations revealed unsavory actors had accessed their systems. Xfinity’s breach is similar; they entrusted consumer data to accredited software provider Citrix.
At the beginning of October, Citrix discovered a system vulnerability within a specific product, prompting them to warn users of the product. Xfinity was among those warned of the vulnerability; however, their notice of the event indicates they did not immediately act to patch the weakness. Consequently, cybercriminals accessed the Citrix product and freely stole millions of people’s information.
What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?
According to the notice published on Xfinity’s website—and the Maine Attorney General’s office—the stolen information belongs to customers. The breach involves customer usernames and encrypted passwords, which accounts for Xfinity’s mandatory password resets. Additionally, some customers have had their sensitive information stolen, including full names, contact information like email and phone number, the last four digits of their Social Security Numbers, their dates of birth, and their secret questions/answers.
How Did Xfinity Admit to the Breach?
Citrix notified Xfinity of the vulnerability on or around October 10th, 2023; two weeks later, on October 23rd, Citrix issued additional guidance about the event, which prompted Xfinity to mitigate its systems. Before this mitigation occurred, however, unauthorized actors accessed the sensitive network. Their preliminary investigation suggests the actors gained access to the systems between October 16th and 19th. The timeline indicates that Xfinity did not immediately act against the vulnerability threat; had they, they could have stopped the event entirely.
What Will Become of the Stolen Information?
The data stolen from Xfinity contains public and sensitive information; the sensitive information is not immediately attributable to fraudulent activities, as it is when assailants access financial data. Instead, the assailants can use the data stolen from Xfinity to breach other accounts with the same information; they only need to know the provider of services. Consequently, individuals with data exposed in this event must immediately change and update their accounts with the same credentials.
What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?
Although Xfinity serves 32 million customers in the US, this breach is estimated to impact 35,879,455 people; Citrix’s product vulnerability likely pushed this number higher regarding the vendor’s total breach impact. Additionally, Xfinity’s investigations are ongoing, meaning more information may become available later. Their experts will likely continue to notify those impacted in ongoing waves.
Don’t wait for the physical notice to protect yourself and your family. Xfinity has made a mandatory password reset, but this isn’t enough if the hackers have your security question information. Those who have used the same answers and questions across accounts must immediately change and update those credentials. They should also enable multi-factor authentication permissions everywhere and consider account monitoring services. It may take weeks before a notice arrives—don’t wait for it to secure your accounts.