Dish: Systems outage 'due to a cyber-security incident'

Amid a "systems issue" now in its sixth day, Dish Network confirmed Tuesday that a "cyber-security incident" is to blame for network outages that are impacting the company's internal servers, corporate communications, certain Dish-owned websites and IT telephony systems. On top of that "certain data was extracted" from the company's IT systems as a result, Dish added.

Following word from the company that an internal investigation is underway to get to the roots of the issue, Dish outlined this new detail Tuesday in an SEC filing.

(Source: NicoElNino/Alamy Stock Photo)
(Source: NicoElNino/Alamy Stock Photo)

Dish noted in the filing that the company "immediately activated its incident response and business continuity plans designed to contain, assess and remediate the situation. The services of cyber-security experts and outside advisors were retained to assist in the evaluation of the situation."

Dish added that it has since "determined that the outage was due to a cyber-security incident and notified appropriate law enforcement authorities."

Data breach possibly includes 'personal information'

Amplifying the issue, Dish said that, on Monday (February 27), it also learned that "certain data was extracted from the Corporation's IT systems as part of this incident." It's possible that the investigation "will reveal that the extracted data includes personal information."

As of today's filing, Dish said the forensic investigation and assessment of the impact of the incident is ongoing.

While Dish's internal communications, customer call centers and Internet sites have been affected, the Dish TV and Sling TV services and its wireless and data networks "remain operational," the company explained.

Dish "is actively engaged in restoring the affected systems and is making steady progress," the company noted.

A Dish employee told The Verge that the management team expects people to work overtime to clear through the support backlog when Dish's systems come back online. With an expected timeframe not yet shared, employees, who are being paid during the outage, are on "standby" for when systems are restored.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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