Payroll company for SAG-AFTRA members discloses security breach


Employees at Sony Pictures Entertainment aren’t the only ones dealing with a hack attack.

Now, members of Hollywood’s largest union also are wondering if their personal information has been breached by computer hackers.

ART Payroll, a payroll service company that handles residual payments on behalf of actors and others who belong to SAG-AFTRA, notified clients last week of a “data security incident that may affect the security of your personal information.”


The company said on Oct. 18 it detected an unauthorized login onto the company’s Web application.

“The unauthorized intruders had access to the database for less than two hours ... our experts determined that your information may have been accessed by the intruders,” ART Payroll President Emily Erskine wrote in a Nov. 26 letter to clients. The information accessed included Social Security numbers, private accounts and addresses, Erskine said.

While the company was unaware of any “actual or attempted misuse of your information,” Erskine added, “we are providing notice of this incident to you out of an abundance of caution.”

The company said it had notified state regulators, credit reporting agencies and law enforcement officials, and offered clients access to an identity protection service to prevent misuse of personal information.

The security breach follows an extraordinary hack attack last week that has caused havoc at Sony Pictures, resulting in the leaking of personal information including Social Security numbers of thousands of people and salaries of executives, as well as the pirating of DVD copies of several films.

There is no indication, however, that incidents involving Sony and ART Payroll are related. The security breach at ART Payroll was detected several weeks before the hacking at Sony.


SAG-AFTRA, which represents about 160,000 actors, stunt performers, recording artists and other performers, notified members of the security breach on Monday.

“Some SAG-AFTRA members have received notice from American Residuals and Talent, Inc., d/b/a ART Payroll, regarding a data security breach at their company,” the union said in its email. “The breach may have affected the data of individuals who have received payments from ART Payroll. We are working with ART Payroll to ensure all proper steps are taken to mitigate this data security breach.”

The union declined to comment further on the security breach and referred questions to ART Payroll, which could not be immediately reached for comment. Deadline first reported on the incident.

Twitter: @rverrier