320,000 Time Warner Cable customers' email addresses and passwords stolen
320,000 Time Warner Cable customers' email addresses and passwords stolenReuters

Time Warner Cable customers are being alerted to change their passwords following a breach that led to thousands of stolen email addresses and passwords. The Internet and cable TV provider admitted on Wednesday nearly 320,000 customers' email passwords may have been stolen due to an indirect breach.

The attack on TNW customers' confidential data was notified by the FBI, but the cable TV provider assured there was no evidence of a break within its systems. In fact, the stolen email passwords may be a result of "malware download during phishing attacks" or "data breaches of other companies that stored Time Warner Cable's customer information," Reuters reported.

Phishing attacks are often led by deceiving emails sent to users that redirect them to a website, which resembles the legitimate site but in reality is just a trap. These fake websites ask users to update their email address and password and also download malware content to computers to extract personal details.

With customers' login details, hackers can access the financial details associated with the accounts, company spokeswoman Nathalie Burgos told Syracuse. The report also revealed that the attack only impacted customers with Roadrunning or "rr" email addresses.

Time Warner notified its potentially-hacked users this week to change their passwords using the RoadRunner password reset tool. It is also advised that users change their passwords for other websites if the same password is in use.

Cyber crime has become a global problem, with hackers exploiting any loophole to gain people's personal information. Last year, there were several cyber crimes that put thousands and millions at risk. To name a few, an attack on Yahoo! servers left more than 400,000 users at risk, the Stagefright bug affected nearly 950 million Android phones around the world, and the Ashley Madison hack exposed personal details of nearly 37 million apparently promiscuous users.

Read: 5 biggest and scariest hacks of 2015: Will 2016 be any different?