Comcast says Xfinity cybersecurity incident may have compromised customer data

Comcast said it 'take[s] the responsibility to protect our customers very seriously'

Comcast said Monday a mid-October cybersecurity incident stemming from a Citrix software vulnerability may have involved certain Xfinity customer information getting taken.

The telecommunication company told Xfinity customers that usernames and hashed passwords were among the data "likely acquired" by the perpetrator of the "unauthorized access to its internal systems" via the vulnerability between Oct. 16-18. Hashed passwords are created with an algorithm that transforms a password "into a short string of different numbers and letters for security purposes," according to Comcast.

The names, contact information, last four digits of social security numbers, dates of birth and/or secret questions of some customers may also have been obtained, Comcast said.

Comcast, Xfinity, logo is seen on an Android mobile device with United States of America (USA). (Photo Illustration by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Comcast, Xfinity, logo is seen on an Android mobile device with United States of America (USA). (Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images / Getty Images)

In a Tuesday statement to FOX Business, the company said it "promptly patched and mitigated the vulnerability" in the Citrix software that many other firms also utilize. It did so shortly after Citrix’s initial disclosure about the issue on Oct. 10 and subsequent release of additional mitigation guidance on Oct. 23, according to a Comcast news release. 

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"We are not aware of any customer data being leaked anywhere, nor of any attacks on our customers," the company said to FOX Business.

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Impacted Xfinity user IDs may total nearly 36 million, a data breach notification that Comcast submitted to the Office of the Maine Attorney General indicated.

Comcast became aware of the breach, which it attributed to the Citrix vulnerability, after performing a "routine cybersecurity exercise" on Oct. 25. It "notified federal law enforcement and initiated an investigation into the nature and scope of the incident," according to the company press release.

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Boeing, the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and other entities have experienced incidents related to the same Citrix software vulnerability, according to reports. 

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Comcast told FOX Business it "required our customers to reset their passwords and we strongly recommend that they enable two-factor or multi-factor authentication, as many Xfinity customers already do." In the notice to customers, it also suggested customers make password changes on other sites where they have used the same password as their Xfinity account.

Xfinity logo

In this photo illustration, the American Internet television service provider owned by Comcast, Xfinity logo is seen displayed on a smartphone with an economic stock exchange index graph in the background. ( Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"We take the responsibility to protect our customers very seriously and have our cybersecurity team monitoring 24x7," Comcast said in its statement.

Xfinity customers are receiving notification about the incident via email, the brand’s website and other avenues.

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In late October, Comcast reported it had seen nearly $90.32 billion in overall revenues in the first three quarters of the year. Its net income over that time frame was $11.95 billion.