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FBI Looking Into Sundance Film Festival Cyberattack

Hackers temporarily shut down the festival’s box office over the weekend.

The Sundance Film Festival


The FBI is looking into a number of cyberattacks against the Sundance Film Festival that started Saturday, a spokesperson for the festival confirmed to IndieWire. Hackers temporarily shut down the festival’s box office over the weekend.

“The FBI is reviewing the case,” a Sundance spokesperson told IndieWire in a statement. “At this point, we do not have any reason to believe the cyberattack was targeted towards a specific film. No artist or customer information was compromised.”

Filmmaker Laura Poitras confirmed to IndieWire that she referred a cybersecurity expert to the festival to help consult on how to protect against further hacks. The festival said the outage was about three hours and that there were subsequent attacks they were able to withstand. The Sundance box office did lose some ticket sales and had to refund customers.

The first attack came on the day of the Women’s March On Main, though it was unclear if the hacking was related to the march. Doug Blush, a consulting editor on the Sundance documentary “Icarus,” about Russia’s anti-doping lab and one of the biggest scandals in sports history, told THR there was speculation the doc could have “sparked retribution” from Russia. Another documentary at the fest, “Cries From Syria,” touches on the Russian military’s intervention in the Syrian conflict.

An internet outage across Park City, Utah also brought activity at local businesses and events to a halt on Saturday, though its unclear if the outage was due to inclement weather or related to the cyberattacks.

Additional reporting by Anne Thompson.

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