Paxton Media Group, the company that owns the High Point Enterprise and many other media outlets, has been hit by a cyber-attack.
Some information held in the company’s files was copied by the hacker or hackers.
Now, the Media Group is addressing the issue, and some Guilford County residents are getting letters in the mail with the always scary subject line: “Notice of Data Incident.”
In Guilford County – and in other parts of the country where Paxton operates – people recently received a letter that states: “Paxton Media Group writes to inform you of an incident that may affect some of your information. We take this incident and the security of information in our care seriously and are providing you with an overview of the incident, our response, and steps you may take to better protect yourself, should you feel it appropriate to do so.”
Paxton media group owns over 30 daily newspapers and numerous weekly papers, as well as television and radio stations. Its properties are largely in the southeast.
Though the letters just went out, the company learned about the attack on Saturday, March 20 of this year. At that time, Paxton noticed that there had been “suspicious activity” on some of its computer systems. The company then began to attempt to get an understanding of the size and scope of the attack.
“Through this investigation,” the letter reads, “we determined that Paxton was the subject of a cyber-attack and that, in connection with the cyber event, an unauthorized actor was able to copy certain information from our system. This activity occurred sometime between February 26 and March 20, 2021.”
The High Point Enterprise and other Paxton properties have a lot of valuable info on hand from subscribers, viewers, employees and others including credit card numbers, address information, and, in some cases, social security numbers. Some of the warning letters sent out in Guilford County state that the information at risk was “your Date of Birth, Social Security Number, and name.”
The news of the hack comes on the heels of a hack of the Bank of Oak Ridge that bank officials made public earlier this summer.
Like the Bank of Oak Ridge, Paxton Media Group is offering one free year membership in a credit monitoring service to help protect the victims against identity theft.