Kevin Andreyo, an education technology specialist in Reading, PA, came across a startling discovery Monday after vetting himself on the search engine Pipl. Inspired by the PCWorld article "People Search Engines: They know Your Dark Secrets . . . And Tell Anyone," Andreyo searched his e-mail address and found a list that included his Comcast username and password, as well as those for 8,000 other Comcast subscribers. The list, which appeared on the document-sharing Web site Scribd, had been up for two months, garnering 345 views and 27 downloads.
Mr. Andreyo alerted Comcast and the F.B.I. about the presence of the document, and it was removed Monday afternoon. Similar to the rest of us, Mr. Andreyo expressed concern in an interview with the New York Times that it "isn't just my password for Comcast, it's my password for everything that's not tied to my credit card."
Comcast diverted blame and said the list may have appeared as a result of a phishing scheme, although Mr. Andreyo doubts that he fell victim to such a scam. Jennifer Khoury, a spokeswoman for Comcast, said, "We have no reason to believe this came from Comcast. It looks like a phishing or related type of scheme." Ms. Khoury assured subscribers that the compromised e-mail addresses would be frozen, and that the company would offer advice about safe passwords and the use of McAfee Security Suite, anti-virus software that is available for free to all Comcast subscribers. [From: The New York Times]
Update: Brad Stone updated his New York Times bit blog today after a follow-up e-mail from Jennifer Khoury. According to Ms. Khoury, information for only 700 Comcast subscribers, not 8,000, was included in the document posted on Scribd. The remaining data on the list consisted of duplicate names, inactive accounts, or people who weren't actually customers.
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