Dish Network Confirms “Cyber Security Incident,” With Personal Data Possibly Stolen; Stock Falls To 14-Year Low

Shares in Dish Network continued their multi-day slide on Tuesday, falling another 6% to a 14-year low of $11.41, after the pay-TV and wireless provider confirmed its systems were hit by a cyberattack.

Outages and new information about them have come in waves. Last Thursday, when executives convened a conference call to report fourth-quarter earnings, they acknowledged that internal servers and IT resources had been knocked out. In a filing with the SEC on Tuesday, the company said it had discovered on Monday that personal data of customers may have been “extracted” during the attack.

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“The services of cyber-security experts and outside advisors were retained to assist in the evaluation of the situation,” the filing said. The company also said it notified law enforcement authorities.

“The forensic investigation and assessment of the impact of this incident is ongoing,” the filing said. Dish’s satellite TV service, internet TV bundle Sling and wireless and data networks have remained up and running, the company said, but internal communications, customer call centers and internet sites have been affected. “The Corporation is actively engaged in restoring the affected systems and is making steady progress,” the filing added.

Dish is in the midst of a long-term pivot away from the satellite TV business where it began and into telecommunications. As part of the recent merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, Dish acquired wireless spectrum assets and has also bought capacity at auction. As of the end of 2022, Dish had 9.75 million pay-TV customers and a shade fewer than 8 million retail wireless customers.

Communicating with those millions of customers has been a grueling process in the wake of the cyberattack. “We’re making progress on the customer service front every day, including ramping up our call center capacity, but it will take a little time before things are fully restored,” the company said in a letter to customers making the rounds on social media.

Along with the days-long tech nightmare, the company also was hit with a “double-downgrade” from Bank of America analyst David Barden. He lowered his rating on Dish’s stock two notches, from “buy” to “underperform” (or sell), slashing his 12-month price target to $10 from $30.

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