Comcast support gives out private details before verification

Information security is always going to be a hot topic. When it comes to personal details, corporations are entrusted to secure that data. But if you are a Comcast subscriber, you may have another reason to be alarmed after what happened to Digg founder Kevin Rose.

Kevin posted a picture on his Twitter account that shows Comcast (Xfinitiy) willfully gave out his complete address before verifying his identity. This lack of security by Comcast, especially for someone as wealthy as Kevin Rose, could allow stalkers to locate his home with relative ease. If Comcast regularly practices this lax of security, your personal information may be at risk.

As the Internet becomes more engrained in our society, knowing our personal information is secured only becomes increasingly vital. While there are things you can do to help protect yourself, such as regularly updating your password, making your password reset challenge questions difficult to answer, and not responding to suspicious emails, when a company willingly gives away your information, there isn't much you can do. 

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I had someone that claimed to be a lawyer, call my cellphone demanding to speak to someone. When they asked if I was "so and so" I gladly declined (obviously a collection call for someone that owned the number in the past) and the they just blurted out the last four digits of the guys social security number.

That's when I asked what state they were registered to do Law in because no lawyer would just blurt out the last four digits of someones social security number, etc and I was hung up on. They now call my number six times a day looking for this guy. Annoying but huge security risk, I could steal that guys life with those four digits!

Guys this whole story fails actually what the Comcast Employee is asking did the Information HE PUT IN BEFORE THE CHAT SESSION STARTED was correct for people who don't know when you start a Comcast chat session you have a to fill out a forum, all the information the Employee is asking him is everything he filled out on the forum.

Sigh, one instance of something and all of a sudden its their due to one employee everyone is at risk. The crazy amount of times I've had to use the live chat (eh phone support (and duh its comcast, support is the norm)) they've never given me any information before verify of my account. If anything it was a bit annoying. But seeing as this is (most likely) being blown out of proportion, I guess I'll be glad that through the 10 years I've been with Comcast and used LIVE support this has never happen to me before.

vette said,
Sigh, one instance of something and all of a sudden its their due to one employee everyone is at risk. The crazy amount of times I've had to use the live chat (eh phone support (and duh its comcast, support is the norm)) they've never given me any information before verify of my account. If anything it was a bit annoying. But seeing as this is (most likely) being blown out of proportion, I guess I'll be glad that through the 10 years I've been with Comcast and used LIVE support this has never happen to me before.
I was a new subscriber last year. They asked me for my Social Security Number for identification and credit check. This is prohibited by law. Comcast knows that a driver's license is enough for identification, and a credit check is not required because I wasn't signing up for a contract. Comcast knows that they should be giving the customer *options* to identify themselves. The customer care representative didn't, however. I had to e-mail their top management to take care of this for me without me having to give up my SSN. So I wonder how many more ignorant customers were fooled into giving their SSNs to Comcast by other ignorant customer care representatives for no reason at all.

Edited by Jebadiah, Apr 25 2011, 6:15am :

What I'm trying to say is that, it is a big issue. And it is not just ONE instance. It's MILLIONS of instances. You just heard of one in the article and one from me.

Doesn't the blue scroll indicator make it appear as if there is much more to the conversation prior to this verification excerpt? It seems like the comcast guy wanted to verify some shipping info or something after the conversation with Kevin.

Matthew Arkin said,
Doesn't the blue scroll indicator make it appear as if there is much more to the conversation prior to this verification excerpt?

And? It's still wrong for them to send the info first. They should ask the customer to give them the details to verify the details.

How "wealthy" do you consider Kevin Rose or do you just consider "someone as wealthy as kevin rose" wealthy because you watch his tech blogs?

Not to say Kevin doesn't have more cash than most Neowin members. But this news report seems to suggest that he's got megga millions and that he's a high target.

I agree with wrestler30 many times when you call in it ask for your phone number so technicality they already have your account when you talk to them.

Not to play devils advocate but without the whole chat log it is hard to say if they did not already verify his account by a different way at the beginning of the chat.

this isn't standard, this is someone who messed up..... standard first question on comcast support is can I have your account number... not can you verify who you are.. if no account number is given you have to prove who you are to them, not them ask you if that is who you are

but they do know who you are if you log into chat via their website over a comcast cable connection... their support system takes your IP and matches it via the DHCP database and cross links it to billing so they know who owns the questioning account before you say a word to them, they just ask for account # to make sure you have it and their Db didn't mess up

neufuse said,
but they do know who you are if you log into chat via their website over a comcast cable connection... their support system takes your IP and matches it via the DHCP database and cross links it to billing so they know who owns the questioning account before you say a word to them, they just ask for account # to make sure you have it and their Db didn't mess up

That's a pretty bad way of doing things. It shouldn't make a difference where your'e connecting from (unless it's obviously wrong).

neufuse said,
this isn't standard, this is someone who messed up..... standard first question on comcast support is can I have your account number... not can you verify who you are.. if no account number is given you have to prove who you are to them, not them ask you if that is who you are
You should have to prove to them regardless of whether you gave them *an* account number.
neufuse said,

but they do know who you are if you log into chat via their website over a comcast cable connection... their support system takes your IP and matches it via the DHCP database and cross links it to billing so they know who owns the questioning account before you say a word to them, they just ask for account # to make sure you have it and their Db didn't mess up
That proves who's cable internet connection you are using. That doesn't prove who YOU are.

Probably fired by now. Been in many sessions online with them and they have always made me give my details to them first. Not once have they not asked for it.