Hackers Breach Hollywood Payroll Master, Warns SAG-AFTRA

Confidential information of Hollywood stars including their banking info, addresses and other private information hidden may soon make its way to Kiss Ass torrents and other sharing sites, following a reported hack at Hollywood’s payroll master, American Residual & Talent Inc.  The security breach affects thousands of clients who depend on the payroll master to process their residual checks and Equity contracts.

Hollywood woes may escalate to a new level after hackers cracked American Residual & Talent Inc (ART) just days after North Korean hackers leaked Sony’s pictures unreleased movies online. The Hollywood payroll master, which process residual checks for SAG-AFTRA members and Equity contracts for Actors reported a “data security Breach” that affected thousands of actors on its payroll.

In a statement to newsrooms SAG -AFTRA said the “breach may have affected the data of actors who received residuals payments through ART Payroll” adding that the union was “working with ART Payroll to ensure all proper steps are taken to mitigate this data security breach,” read SAG-AFTRA’s statement.

It is still not clear what the hacker stole from ART servers, but Emily Erskine, ART President confirmed the intruders “Potentially accessed” clients’ private information such as Social security numbers, addresses bank account information and their email addresses in the less than two hours operation. “We ART Payroll 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,” said Emily Erskine.

ART first detected abnormal activities on its network in October, after which its forensic experts launched investigations into the authorized access. Preliminary investigation revealed that none of its employee’s information was affected but the intruders may have accessed clients’ personal files.

“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,” read ART statement.

The hack at ART is one in a string of security breaches plaguing US robust entertainment industry in the last few weeks. Last week a North Korean hackers’ group known as GOP infiltrated the computer network of Sony pictures and stole unreleased movies which were later unleashed to file-sharing sites. Among the leaked Hollywood movies include, Furry, a World War 2 drama by brad Pitt, “Mr. Tunner” and “Still Alice”, expected in the market early next year.

Earlier today, GOP leaked the confidential files of over 30000 employees of Deloitte, an Auditing company based in New York. The data resealed in form of a Spreadsheet was allegedly obtained from Sony servers during the raid at its Studious. The leaked file includes employee’ detail such as names, race, gender and basic contacts and has been attributed to a former employee of Deloitte who is currently working at Sony pictures.

Top/Featured Image: By Oreos / Wikipedia (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hollywood_Sign_PB050006.jpg)

Lawrence Mwangi Lawrence is a technology and business reporter. He has freelanced for a number of tech sites and magazines. He is a web-enthusiast, with a special interest in Online security, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. When not writing about tech he can be found in a Tennis court or on a chess board.
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