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July 20, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Time Warner Cable Inc’s computer system was cracked on the weekend, exposing its channels and satellite system to outside control. The attack appears to have originated from Chatsworth, California, where hackers scanned a range of numbers they suspected might be connected to the Time Warner network. They claim to have achieved direct terminal access to Time Warner’s Sparc stations, enabling them to switch channels. If one of your cable channels is screwy and unwatchable I’m probably playing around, hacker Optiklenz told AntiOnline webmaster John Vranesevich. I can change the different frequencies sent out by the satellite… I have the capability to add channels and remove channels… I have access to many other things only high level company techs would have access to. Mike Luftman of Time Warner Cable said I am not prepared to confirm or refute the entirety of the report, but I can confirm that there was a breakin to the computer system of our Los Angeles division. That has been dealt with, and that’s all we are prepared to say. Optiklenz also claimed to have gained root access to a number of Time Warner webservers, including Pathfinder. However Pathfinder webmaster Jorgen Wahlsten said he was unaware of any such breach. As far as I know, we have not been broken into, he told ComputerWire, obviously if they were extremely good and didn’t leave a trace, we wouldn’t be able to tell.

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