Have you read the bestselling book “The Martian”? There’s a movie coming out about it starring Matt Damon. The author of the book just had a nightmare experience when hackers took over his email account. Apparently Comcast made it very easy for them.
All the hackers had to do was call the Comcast customer service line and pretend to be the popular author Andy Weir. Happily, the customer service rep obliged the hackers’ request to change the email password to Weir’s main email account.
Just like that, Weir was kicked out of his own email account.
The problem lies with the verification process for changing a password with Comcast. A hacker only needs to know the street address and last four digits of the target’s Social Security number.
These Internet service provider (ISP) email accounts are less protected and easier for evil cybercriminals to break into. That’s why Weir canceled his Comcast.net email account and switched over to Gmail.
With Gmail, there is a double-verification process that make it a tad bit more difficult for hackers to exploit. But Weir isn’t stopping there. “I’ve changed the passwords to every online account I have and done virus scans on all my systems just to be safe,” Weir wrote on his Facebook page.
As an extra, extra, step of precaution, Weir also flagged his remaining Comcast account that supplies his cable and Internet needs. So any future changes to his password must be approved through the company’s security department and verified with a special code only Weir knows.