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HACKERS MAY HAVE BREACHED MUCHMUSIC

Source: Toronto Star

Posted on August 24, 2001

      MuchMusic is warning the video station's contest entrants that their personal information may have fallen into the hands of hackers.

      "We're launching a full investigation about this to see if we can ascertain what has happened," MuchMusic spokesperson Sarah Crawford said yesterday. "We have a great relationship with our viewers and we obviously don't want our reputation and relationship to be compromised."

      MuchMusic was alerted to the problem after several viewers informed the station they'd received calls late at night from someone claiming to be a MuchMusic employee.

      "We started to glean that these were people who entered contests, the calls were always about the contest, and in one instance the prank caller knew something about what the person had said, in terms of the contest entry," she said. "We're extremely concerned that someone who is not an employee is representing himself as such and we're very interested in finding out who the perpetrator of these prank calls are."

      MuchMusic's contest prizes can range from overseas concerts to winning cars and apparel. Entrants are required to provide their address or personal e-mail, phone number and age. The station's contest database would contain thousands of names.

      "Keeping your personal information confidential and secure is job one for us and we've taken appropriate measures to make sure that all of that stuff remains private," one of the station's on-air personalities told viewers yesterday afternoon. The station has sent out a mass e-mail security advisory warning of the breach. Much officials are also instructing anyone who receives a call to verify it is from an authorized employee by calling them back at the station's headquarters. The incident underscores the fact that "no Internet site is 100 per cent secure," said Crawford.




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