Ransomware, Network Security

Dish Network confirms cyberattack 

Dish Network Confirms Cyberattack

Dish Network confirmed it was hit by a massive cyberattack tied to a multiday outage that downed internal billing systems, broke consumer apps and shut down several consumer-facing websites. The outage began Thursday. On Tuesday the company made its first public statement regarding the cyberattack.  

In an 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said on Tuesday that it determined that “the outage was due to a cybersecurity incident and notified appropriate law enforcement."  

The company also noted in the SEC filing that on Feb. 27 it found that "certain data was extracted from the corporation's IT systems" as part of the incident. It did not specify what type of data was breached. "It is possible the investigation will reveal that the extracted data includes personal information," the company said.  

Dish Network subsidiaries, Boost Mobile, Sling TV and Republic Wireless, also were impacted as a result of the attack. At the time, Dish reported large portions of its’ internal network were knocked offline including customer service portals, its bill paying frontend and company-owned websites such as Dish Wireless (Dishwireless.com) and its Project Genesis 5G website (launch.5gmobilegenesis.com).

As of Wednesday, some of the company websites were still displaying “403 error” messages, meaning content on the website was being blocked. The company homepage includes a public statement to customers.  

Dish Network website on March 1, post cyberattack
Image of Dish Network's website on March 1, 2023

"We are experiencing a system issue that our teams are working hard to resolve," the company wrote.   The company also released an official statement, confirming "it will take a little more time before things are fully restored."  

In Wednesday report by Bleeping Computer the publication said sources familiar with the incident believe the Black Basta ransomware group was behind the attack.  

Dish has not confirmed additional details behind the attack and has not responded to SC Media requests for more information.

Meanwhile, customers are still severely impacted by the outage, with Dish making no promises when systems will be fully restored. According to a FAQ on Dish's webpage the current outage has having a wide range of impacts including:

  • An inability for customers to pay bills
  • Some downed systems
  • Reduced customer service offerings
  • Some service technicians not showing up for appointments
  • Inability by some customers to access premium TV services (Dish Anywhere, HBO and Max)
Menghan Xiao

Menghan Xiao is a cybersecurity reporter at SC Media, covering software supply chain security, workforce/business, and threat intelligence. Before SC Media, Xiao studied journalism at Northwestern University, where she received a merit-based scholarship from Medill and Jack Modzelewski Scholarship Fund.

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