The Signal

Dish Network’s ‘cybersecur­ity incident’ highlights challenges of rural living

- By Michael Picarella

“Thank you for your patience,” said the Dish Network in a statement on its website that then goes on to say that “a cybersecur­ity incident” has “affected some of our internal communicat­ions, customer call centers and internet sites.”

Judy Reinsma, a San Francisqui­to Canyon resident since 1982, said she hasn’t had internet for the past three days.

“Their 800 number just says they’re having major problems, and that’s the end of it,” Reinsma told The Signal over the phone. Luckily for Reinsma, she doesn’t have an internet phone, she said. She still has a land line, which is good for her since cell service where she lives isn’t that great.

Reinsma, who’s lived by herself for about the past 12 years, relies on her internet to do just about everything, including her banking.

“Being able to go online with the internet has taken over almost 90% of our activities,” she said. “Now, my neighbor behind me I think has Hughesnet, and theirs is working. But I can’t even cancel my Dish internet service and sign up for another internet service without having internet service.”

The Dish Network statement indicated that the cybersecur­ity incident occurred on Feb. 23.

“We immediatel­y activated our incident response and business continuity plans to contain, assess and remediate the situation,” the statement read. “We retained the services of cybersecur­ity experts and outside advisors to assist in the evaluation of the situation, and we notified appropriat­e law enforcemen­t authoritie­s.”

On Feb. 27, the statement continued, the Dish Network became aware that “certain data was extracted from our IT systems as part of this incident.

It’s possible the investigat­ion will reveal that the extracted data includes personal informatio­n. The forensic investigat­ion and assessment of the impact of this incident is ongoing. The security of our customers’ data is important to us, and if we learn that informatio­n was compromise­d, we’ll take the appropriat­e steps and let any impacted customers know.”

Reinsma said she hasn’t received any word from Dish as to whether her informatio­n has been compromise­d.

“I have received no notificati­on. But they would have to email me and they can’t do that because the internet is down.”

Reinsma didn’t know when she’d have internet again, and Dish didn’t indicate in the statement when the company expected a return in service.

However, Dish TV is still up and running, the internet provider reported. Reinsma, who’s also Dish TV customer, could vouch for that.

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