Cox Communications, the third-largest cable provider in the U.S., has sent notifications to customers who were impacted by a recent data breach. According to the company, the hacker gained access to its systems by impersonating a support representative. A copy of the notification shared by Bleeping Computer’s Lawrence Abrams reveals that Cox became aware of the attack on October 11. This is the second incident related to a Cox company in the past six months. In June, Cox Media Group (CMG) suffered a ransomware attack that knocked TV and radio broadcasts offline. The breach notification does not mention when the breach actually occurred, though it’s possible that information was not yet known at the time the notifications were sent out. Cox also notes that impacted accounts were secured, an investigation was launched and law enforcement officials notified on the day the attack was discovered.
Social engineering has always been one of the most effective ways of compromising an organization. Organizations must train employees not only to spot phishing emails, but also to verify the identity of anyone claiming to be with the organization and asking for sensitive data. Security consultants also use social engineering as a part of physical penetration tests to see if attackers could infiltrate an organization and gain access to systems that way.