ART Entertainment Payroll Company Hacked

The breach happened in October but came to public attention on Tuesday

It’s not just large multinationals like Sony that have hacker problems: American Residuals & Talent, Inc., which does business as ART Payroll, has been hit too, a representative of the company confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. The company provides payroll services for employers who hire under a variety of entertainment union contracts, including SAG-AFTRA and Actors Equity contracts.

The representative, attorney Chris DiIenno of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, said the breach occurred October 18 but that "it took some time to figure out" whether personal information was compromised. The company made the determination on November 10 that personal information could have been affected — although DiIenno said that the company is still not sure whether information was taken — and it sent notice to all employees in its database on Nov. 26. The breach was reported to California authorities on December 1.

DiIenno declined to say how many employees were notified and was not certain whether the potentially affected employees were actors only or included other employees as well. He stressed that the intrusion "was caught very quickly" and that the incident had ended.

Read more Sony Hackers Reveal Seth Rogen and James Franco Pay for 'The Interview'

According to the letter the company sent to potentially affected employees, the intruders had access to the company’s database "for less than two hours."

"Information is now secure, [and] the exposure is over," DiIenno said. Potentially affected individuals are being offered a year of free credit monitoring. The potentially compromised information includes Social Security numbers, dates of birth, bank account information and ART user IDs and passwords.

The incident first came to public attention because of an alert posted Tuesday on SAG-AFTRA’s website. The notice says that "the breach may have affected the data of individuals who have received payments from ART Payroll."

Payroll companies are hired by the employer — such as a studio or production company — not the union, but SAG-AFTRA says in the alert that it’s working with ART "to ensure all proper steps are taken to mitigate this data security breach."

Bookmark The Hollywood Reporter’s Labor Page for the most in-depth coverage of entertainment unions and guilds.

Email: jh@jhandel.com
Twitter: @jhandel

comments powered by Disqus