MTV Computers Hacked, Files Stolen

LOS ANGELES — Files containing confidential data on about 5,000 employees at MTV Networks were illegally accessed by someone outside the company, the network told employees on Friday in a memo obtained by Reuters.

When asked for comment on the contents of the memo, MTV said in a statement that the security breach occurred after an Internet connection in an MTV employee’s computer was compromised.

Although it was not immediately clear whether the password-protected files were opened, the company notified law enforcement and a credit monitoring company to safeguard the identities of the affected employees, the statement said.

The company declined to provide any information about how many employees were affected or what the nature of the compromised information was.

The personal information that was accessed included names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and compensation data, the internal memo by Catherine Houser, executive vice president of Human Resources at MTV Networks, said.

The company strongly encouraged affected employees to place a 90-day fraud alert on their credit files with the three major credit agencies, and offered them credit monitoring for two years at company expense.

MTV Networks is a unit of Viacom (NYSE:VIA).

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