Hackers have exploited Netflix’s data retention policies to reactivate cancelled customer subscriptions and steal their accounts.
Former subscribers say they noticed their accounts had been reinstated when they were charged a monthly fee, months after cancellation.
This is due to the streaming service storing customer data, including billing information, for ten months after cancellation. This is to enable a speedy account recovery should a user wish to rejoin.
However, this is proving to be a benefit for hackers who just need an email address and password to reactivate an account.
Radio 4’s You and Yours programme spoke to Emily Keen who said she cancelled her subscription in April 2019 but was charged £11.99 by Netflix in September. She tried to log in to the account but found that email and password were no longer recognised as the hackers had changed her details and signed her up to the more expensive service option.
Keen contacted Netflix and was assured her card would be blocked and she would receive a full refund, but the streaming service went on to take two further payments in October and November.
Other users that have had their accounts mysteriously reactivated have hit out at the company on Twitter.
“Super disappointed with my @netflix customer service experience,” one user posted on the social media site. “Our account was hacked, supposed to have been deactivated, was reactivated by hacker, and continued to use our credit card. We were told to file chargeback and @netflix would not offer refund.”
Super disappointed with my @netflix customer service experience. Our account was hacked, supposed to have been deactivated, was reactivated by hacker, and continued to use our credit card. We were told to file chargeback and @netflix would not offer refund.
— Porter Plant (@PorterPlant) October 29, 2019
Stolen Netflix login details have reportedly been found on sites like eBay, sold as “lifetime” accounts for as little as £3. The same issue was reported for Disney+ accounts just hours after the service launched in the US, with login details serfacing on hacking forums.
Cloud Pro has approached Netflix for comment.