Incident Response, Distributed Workforce, Breach

Dish Network suffers massive outage, mum on cyberattack  

Dish Network suffers massive multi-day outage

Swaths of Dish Network’s internal network have been offline since Thursday as the company struggles to recover from a massive outage. Offline are customer service portals, its bill paying frontend and company-owned websites such as Dish Wireless ( and its Project Genesis 5G website (

Dish has shared little about the outage, only stating its internal servers, customer care and IT telephony services have been impacted. Meanwhile, customers are turning to social media and complaining and confirming that billing systems are down and that IPTV services such as the Dish Anywhere app are also impacted.

“I am having problems logging on to the starz and other apps using my Dish credentials.  I think something is not working with Dish authentication,” wrote a Twitter user identified as William Fleishhacker.

Dish representatives replied: “We are currently experiencing issues with processing payments and making account updates for some customers. If you are affected, you will not lose your service while we resolve this issue. Thanks for being a valued Dish customer.”

(click image to visit tweet)

Separately, multiple news agencies are reporting Dish employees are locked out of systems because virtual private network (VPN) tools are not functioning. Sources told Bleeping Computer that the company was hit with a cyberattack.

The publication quoted an employee within Dish who claims that “the incident ‘was caused by an outside bad actor, a known threat agent’ and that the company is unsure how the person or group gained access.”

No official statement has been made by Dish since Thursday regarding the outage. Company spokespeople contacted for this report have not returned inquiries. The Bleeping Computer report has not been confirmed.  

During an earnings call on Thursday, Dish company’s chief executive officer Erik Carlson publicly acknowledged the outage stating, “We're analyzing the root causes and any consequences of the outage while we work to restore the affected systems as quickly as possible.”

As of noon Monday, Dish’s website displayed the message: “We are experiencing a system issue that our teams are working hard to resolve.”

Reports of disruption among employees include a memo obtained by The Verge indicating that its virtual private networking system was not working and preventing employees from logging in to work. The note posted by The Verge read: “I am reaching out to you all today to let you know that we are experiencing large VPN issues this morning… This issue is happening to everyone and nobody is able to log into VPN at this time.”

The Verge report continues, citing an internal memo that, “warns employees not to use their Dish-issued laptops if they’ve been connected to the company’s network or VPN after 11PM MT on Wednesday, while adding that it expects employees to return to their work locations on Monday, February 27th.”

This report will be updated with additional information and statements from Dish when they become available.

Tom Spring, Editorial Director

Tom Spring is Editorial Director for SC Media and is based in Boston, MA. For two decades he has worked at national publications in the leadership roles of publisher at Threatpost, executive news editor PCWorld/Macworld and technical editor at CRN. He is a seasoned cybersecurity reporter, editor and storyteller that aims always for truth and clarity.

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