July 24, 2024
CBS, Paramount owner National Amusements says it was hacked

National Amusements, the cinema chain and corporate parent giant of media giants Paramount and CBS, has confirmed it experienced a data breach in which hackers stole the personal information of tens of thousands of people.

The private media conglomerate said in a legally required filing with Maine’s attorney general that hackers stole personal information on 82,128 people during a December 2022 data breach.

Details of the December 2022 breach only came to light a year later, after the company began notifying those affected last week.

According to Maine’s notice, the company discovered the breach months later in August 2023, but did not say what specific personal information was taken. The data breach notice filed with Maine said that hackers also stole financial information, such as banking account numbers or credit card numbers in combination with associated security codes, passwords or secrets.

The stolen data may relate to the company’s employees since the data breach notification letter was submitted by the company’s human resources chief.

But the media giant has said little else about the breach, or whether the personal information of its customers or users are also affected. It’s not clear what kind of cyberattack the company experienced, or whether the company received a ransom demand — or subsequently paid the hackers.

National Amusements would not comment beyond its data breach notice. When presented with questions about the incident, Molly Morse, a partner at Kekst CNC representing National Amusements, said the company declined to comment further.

Spokespeople for CBS and Paramount did not comment.

National Amusements owns more than 1,500 cinemas across the United States, but the company is best known for its controlling stake in Paramount and CBS following the Viacom-CBS merger in 2019.

Paramount disclosed a separate security incident in August, according to a filing with the Massachusetts attorney general, in which hackers took personal information on an unspecified number of customers. The hackers stole Paramount customer names and dates of birth, as well as Social Security numbers or other government-issued identification numbers, according to the notice.

Disclosure: Zack Whittaker previously worked at CBS prior to August 2018. Updated with acknowledgement of incident by National Amusements spokespersonl 

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