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Paramount Parent Was Hacked Last Christmas, Told Customers a Year Later | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker | #hacking | #aihp

The parent company that owns a controlling stake in Paramount, CBS, and thousands of theaters across the U.S. got hacked late last year, but it took them a full trip around the sun to let any of the tens of thousands of impacted customers know that their data was potentially compromised.

The massive entertainment conglomerate National Amusements relayed a few scant details of the hack to the Maine Attorney General, as first reported by TechCrunch. A total of 82,128 people were impacted by the breach, though it remains unclear how many of the victims were customers or National Amusements employees. In a letter sent to those impacted describing the breach, the company said an “unauthorized individual” accessed the company network on Dec. 13, 2022, and the company became aware of that intrusion two days later.

The company hired a third-party firm to review the breach, and that investigation was “recently” completed. National Amusements lists that it discovered the data breach on Aug. 23 of this year, which could relate to when this separate firm finished its investigation. The Paramount and CBS parent company is offering those affected free credit monitoring services through Experian for a varying number of months.

Under Maine law, companies are required to share details of data breaches when users’ personal information is stolen. The law also mandates companies conduct a full investigation of the breach and submit that information to the state. Paramount Global claims it suffered a security breach this past August according to another notice as identified by TechCrunch. The letter, dated August 11, says that an unauthorized party hacked into the company’s systems between May and June this year and made off with some users’ personal information.

Gizmodo reached out to a spokesperson for National Amusements, but we did not immediately hear back. We were especially curious to know why National Amusements had taken so long to disclose the hack, but the company is maintaining near-radio silence so far. The media conglomerate reiterated to Deadline that it did not find any sign there was identity theft or fraud related to the hack and claimed it takes “information security very seriously.”

Paramount did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s questions about the May hack. It remains unclear whether the hack impacted Paramount+ customers.

The company just recently announced a deal with Showtime rebranding the whole package “Paramount+ with Showtime.” Soon, Paramount might start offering bundles with Apple TV+ to get more eyeballs on its content.

Paramount’s been having an especially difficult time as of late. Paramount+ has worked over the past few months to cut the number of movies available to stream by half. Shari Redstone, the scion of the family who bought the storied Paramount Pictures back in 1994, is reportedly thinking of selling her family’s stake in National Amusements. One of the top bidders is reportedly Warner Bros. Discovery, which has universally become Hollywood’s favorite megacorp punching bag. Warner Bros’ multi-billion dollar merger has proved such a disaster for once-lauded brands like HBO that any new monopolistic acquisitions are being met with a strange mix of hilarity and despair.

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