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Hollywood Hack Attack: SAG-AFTRA Members Latest to Fall Victim

Hollywood Hack Attack: SAG-AFTRA Members Latest to Fall Victim

More than a week after a revelation that Sony Pictures Entertainment had fallen victim to a bizarre and damaging cyber attack, computer hackers have again struck in Hollywood.

American Residuals & Talent, a company that processes residuals checks for SAG-AFTRA members, has notified the union of a security breach, potentially affecting thousands of actors with personal information inside the company database.

“The breach may have affected the data of actors who received residuals payments through ART Payroll,” SAG-AFTRA said in a statement, via The Deadline.

ART President Emily Erskine also said a statement that information potentially accessed by the intruders includes names, Social Security numbers, addresses, bank account information, date of birth, and email addresses.

Erskine’s statement read:

On October 18, we detected an unauthorized login onto our web application. We worked immediately to contain the unauthorized access and prevent it from happening again. The unauthorized intruders had access to the database for less than two hours.

We launched an investigation and retained outside forensic experts to confirm whether employee information may have been accessed. On November 10, our experts determined that your information may have been accessed by the intruders.

While our investigation is ongoing, it is possible that none of your information was accessed or taken. We are unaware of any actual or attempted misuse of your information, but we are providing notice of this incident to you out of an abundance of caution. 

ART, which also services Actors’ Equity contracts and provides crew payroll services, is offering those affected by the data breach one year of credit monitoring through Experian. 

In light of SPE’s troubles, other Hollywood studios have announced an overhaul of cyber security measures, some hiring experts and asking employees to be careful with personal information.

The attack on Sony, which shut down the studio’s computer and phone systems, has also resulted in the release of an ongoing stream of sensitive data, including executive salaries and employees’ personal information, reportedly troubling to industry rivals.

“People are wigged out,” said an anonymous executive at one of Hollywood’s major film companies. “It is making people seriously question what they put in email.”

A senior Weinstein executive told The Wrap, “Everybody” has hired outside security firms. 

Sony is currently working with the security firm FireEye Inc. and its forensics unit to investigate the security breach, which is still responsible for the almost daily release of sensitive company information.

The group claiming responsibility for the attack on Sony, the GOP, was originally thought by some to have ties to North Korea. However, a diplomat for the country denied any involvement on Thursday.

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