Cox Investigates Possible Employee-Data Breach

Cox Communications said it is investigating the possible theft of personal information about its employees after a listing appeared on a so-called dark Web site advertising access to email addresses, phone numbers and other information for 40,000 employees of the cable, phone and Internet provider.

The company released a statement late last week -- after the apparent breach was reported on by Vice's Motherboard site -- saying: "Cox Communications is aware of this matter and the business-related information to which it relates. The listing did not include any residential customer data. We’re taking this very seriously and have engaged a third-party forensic team to conduct a comprehensive investigation and are actively working with law enforcement. Cox’s commitment to privacy and data security is a top priority for the company." 

[RELATED STORY: Wheeler's FCC expected to take up broadband information-privacy measure as soon as this month.]

Motherboard reported it obtained a small sample of the data for verification purposes and shared it with Cox.

Cable companies' customers have been a target for data hacks, including recent ones affecting Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Cox in November 2015 agreed to pay a $595,000 settlement with the FCC Enforcement Bureau for failing to "properly protect" customer data related to a 2014 hack by "EvilJordie" of the "Lizard Squad." But this most recent apparent hack did not involve residential customer information, Cox said.