If you have noticed some shows popping up in your Netflix watch history unexpectedly, there’s a chance someone might have hacked your account. And it’s more common than you might think.
In fact, while putting together this story, I spoke to a colleague of mine who had noticed some suspicious viewing activity of the TV show “Arrow” on her Netflix, and we figured out her account had been compromised.
Netflix lets multiple people use an account at the same time, and this feature is great when it allows you to mooch off a friend’s account without inconveniencing them.
But one problem with this policy is that it has inadvertently created a black market for “access” to stolen Netflix accounts.A report by McAfee Labs in 2015 revealed that you could buy access to Netflix accounts in “Dark Web” marketplaces, which can only be accessed using a special internet browser called TOR that hides your computer’s digital footprint, known as an IP address.
Hackers in these marketplaces were selling lifetime accessto Netflix accounts for as little as $US0.50. While some of these accounts are likely purchased with stolen credit card information, others used hacked login information,Raj Samani, the CTO of Intel Security, told Tech Insider.And sometimes hackers don’t even sell the stolen accounts, but rather, just dump the login credentials on the internet for people to use.
Luckily, there’s an easy ways to check if you’ve been hacked, and fix it.
First, log into your Netflix and go to the “Your Account” section.
Then check your viewing activity.
If you see some suspicious activity there, you can check out your recent account access. Note that since your viewing activity can be modified (you can “x” out certain things), if you think your Netflix has been hacked, go to recent account access even if there isn’t unusual viewing.
Here you’ll be able to see all the places your account has been accessed from. If you don’t recognise any of them, it’s likely your account has been hacked.
If it has been, there’s an easy fix. Navigate back to your settings and choose “Sign out of all devices.”
This will kick everyone who is logged into your account off. Then you can change your password, and they won’t be able to get back in.
Once you’ve done that, you should try and figure out how you were hacked. A good place to start is haveibeenpwned.com.
Haveibeenpwned.com gives you a rough idea of whether your personal information has been leaked onto the internet. In 2015, when writing about her Netflix account being hacked, a Motherboard writer found that her family’s login info had appeared on Pastebin, a site for dumping plaintext files, in a document with the title “BunchaNetflixAccounts.” The information from 2,400 other users had also been compromised.
My colleague also found out, via haveibeenpwned.com, that some of her accounts had been compromised in a data dump. She then knew it was wise to change her passwords on more than just her Netflix.
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