Comcast has a serious security issue that was discovered by security researchers Karan Saini and Ryan Stevenson, who reported the issue to ZDnet.
The issue allows easy access to customers’ Xfinity wireless routers. Anyone with a subscriber’s account number and street address number (such as the 123 in 123 Main St.) can easily get access to the router by going to the company’s website and entering the two numbers. That will instantly reveal the WiFi name and password.
According to TechCrunch, Comcast has committed three serious errors:
- You can “activate” an account that’s already active
- The data required to do this is readily available and is not verified with a text or email
- The wireless name and password are sent on the web in plain text
What this means is that anyone with your account number and street address number, something that’s easily found on a paper bill or in an email, can log into your network and access any of the information that flows over it. They could also create a new name and password and lock you out. Basically, it’s equivalent to turning your private home network into a public one. Changing the network’s name and password does no good because it will just return the updated ones by making a new query.
The issue affects those who use one of the routers provided by Xfinity/Comcast.
Comcast just issued this statement:
“There’s nothing more important than our customers’ security… Within hours of learning of this issue, we shut it down. We are conducting a thorough investigation and will take all necessary steps to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”
In light of this news, you may want to consider purchasing your own router and avoiding renting one from Comcast or any cable provider. Routers have made giant strides in performance and ease of setup. The best routers for the home are the multi-unit mesh routers that can speed up your connection throughout the house, often making it two to five times faster. To set it up, you use a simple app that takes you through each step. The leading mesh routers are from Eero, Orbi, and Velop. Learn more about mesh routers here and here.