Bah, Humbug! Theater presenting ‘A Christmas Carol’ faces cyberattack

Posted: Updated:

A real life Scrooge is wreaking havoc at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey where "A Christmas Carol" is being performed.

A ransomware attack infected the theater's computer system with a virus, making it impossible to read its files, according to artistic director Bonnie Monte. 

"We were supposed to open a show Wednesday night and every single piece of data needed to make that happen was gone,” says Monte. “We had no idea who bought tickets, how many tickets were still available, where people were seated."

The theater canceled Wednesday's show but has since resumed performances of the Christmas classic.

Going forward for the run of the show, ticket holders need to bring tickets or their order confirmation to the box office. Once seated, available seats will be sold to walk-ups.

Monte says ticket-buyers have been more than understanding. “In the midst of this horribleness, it's such a great, inspiring thing at moments because our patrons are calling in droves to try to help us recreate our seating chart so we know who's coming when,” she says.

The theater has a lot of work to do rebuilding its database, but fortunately its next season of shows does not begin until May, giving it some time.

The theater says no customer information was stolen.

It is not the only New Jersey arts-related organization hit with a ransomware attack at the same time. The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts in Madison was also attacked.

 

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