For the last few days, an “internal systems issue” has left many of the services and websites operated by satellite television provider and Sling TV owner Dish Network inaccessible. The outage started on Thursday morning when Dish customers began reporting a host of issues. On Downdetector and Twitter, there are complaints of people being unable to access IPTV services like Watch ESPN with their Dish credentials. Other customers say they can’t log in to their online accounts to pay monthly TV and cellular bills. The outage appears to be affecting nearly every part of the company’s footprint – including Boost Mobile, the prepaid wireless carrier Dish purchased in 2020 – and its call centers, which have been unreachable since the outage began.
“Thank you for your patience,” a banner on top of the Dish website says. “We are experiencing a system issue that our teams are working hard to resolve.” The Boost Mobile website provides a more helpful explanation. “Due to internal system issues some users may experience difficulty with their Boost Mobile accounts, paying their bill, or reaching Boost Care,” the landing page states. “Please be assured that if your account is affected, your wireless service is not affected by these issues and your service will not end due to non-payment.”
I’m going to speculate but I think Dish got hacked. https://t.co/parDKO4kPt is down, along with their call center is completely down. My wife couldn’t login to her VPN for work. This is really bad. You think it would’ve been up by now.. #dish#dishnetwork
— ArmedScubaSteve (@ArmedScubaSteve) February 23, 2023
There have been conflicting reports about the cause of the outage. When the company’s problems began on Thursday, The Desk reported they were not the result of a cybersecurity incident. However, on early Saturday morning, Bleeping Computer said the outage was due to a likely ransomware attack. A source told the outlet employee computers are showing “blank icons,” suggesting they’re infected with malware. A separate source said their manager told them the outage “was caused by an outside bad actor, a known threat agent,” and that Dish had yet to determine how they had gained access to its internal systems.
“We experienced a systems issue with our corporate network on Thursday that is continuing to affect internal servers and telephone systems, and we are actively investigating it. Our DISH TV, Sling TV, Wireless services, and data networks continue to operate and are up and running,” a Dish spokesperson told Engadget. “However, some of our corporate communications systems, customer care functions, and websites were affected. Our teams are working hard to restore affected systems as quickly as possible.”
Dish would not confirm if the outage was due to a ransomware attack, but said it hoped to share more information soon. According to The Verge, as of Friday afternoon, the company had not been forthcoming with employees about what was going on with its internal systems. Many remote workers are reportedly unable to do any work due to issues with Dish’s internal VPN service. Engadget will update this article as more information becomes available.