EXCLUSIVE: Highly sensitive employee data, including bank account details and home addresses, may have been breached after super-producer Banijay was the victim of what could be a major hack late last week.
Banijay, the company behind global hits including MasterChef and Big Brother, had its IT systems compromised by a bad actor demanding a ransom, potentially exposing the personal information of hundreds, if not thousands of staff.
Deadline understands that it was the systems of Endemol Shine Group, Banijay’s $2.2B acquisition, that were breached in the cyber attack and the company has notified the relevant authorities in the UK and Netherlands.
The Temptation Island and Survivor production group is currently trying to establish how its technology was breached, who was affected, and what information has been exposed. It is not engaging with demands for ransom.
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Staff have been told it could include bank account information and ID records, such as passport data, though this is yet to be confirmed. The breach could also impact former employees, who are yet to be notified.
Deadline hears that the hack has downed internal systems, with distribution arm Banijay Rights, said to be particularly affected. Banijay Rights CEO Cathy Payne has been in regular communication her team about the incident.
A Banijay spokeswoman said: “The pre-existing Endemol Shine Group network, which also comprises Endemol Shine International, has been targeted in a cyber-attack. We are currently investigating the matter and at this stage have no further comment.”
The hack comes as Banijay is going about the business of integrating Banijay and Endemol Shine teams across 200 business units in 22 territories. It is a major spanner in the works for a process that had been progressing smoothly.
In an exclusive interview last week, Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti told Deadline that the takeover of Endemol Shine makes even more sense now than it did 12 months ago and he is injecting €25M ($30M) of investment into the business over the coming months.