MoviePass is making headlines again, this time revealing that a security breach has exposed tens of thousands of customer card numbers and credit card information, reports TechCrunch. Because a critical server was not password protected, credit card numbers, expiration dates and billing information, including names and addresses, may have been leaked. It appears that the database was exposed from early May, possibly earlier.
TechCrunch reached out to MoviePass multiple times for an explanation, but MoviePass did not respond directly to TechCrunchs questions. Instead, they received this response from MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe.
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MoviePass recently discovered a security vulnerability that may have exposed customer records. After discovering the vulnerability, we immediately secured our systems to prevent further exposure and to mitigate the potential impact of this incident, said Lowe.
MoviePass takes this incident seriously and is dedicated to protecting our customers information. We are working diligently to investigate the scope of this incident and its potential impact on our customers. Once we gain a full understanding of the incident, we will promptly notify any affected subscribers and the appropriate regulators or law enforcement, Lowe added.
This news comes about six weeks after MoviePass announced it would be working on technical issues and to finalize a new version of the MoviePass app. The company has since taken the service offline, but did not say when it would be back up, reported CNN. The company will credit customers for the days the service is down, and it wont take any new subscribers on during that time.
Theres never a good time to have to do this, said Lowe. But to complete the improved version of our app, one that we believe will provide a much better experience for our subscribers, it has to be done.
According to the MoviePass website, service has been restored to a substantial number of current subscribers and has asked prospective subscribers to enter their email address to be contacted when the service is back up.
In other Movie Pass news, earlier this month, Business Insider reported that, in April, just before the launch of Avengers: Infinity War, Lowe asked employees to change the passwords of power users to prevent them from logging into the app and ordering tickets. A MoviePass spokesperson said prior to the release of the movie, the company had released a new version of its app. Their goal was to prevent people from sharing their membership card with others and to reduce the number of people who could buy and scalp tickets or otherwise misuse the MoviePass system.
MoviePass has been beleaguered almost from the beginning. They started with a great idea for a movie ticket subscription, but they did not design it or price it so that it was sustainable. Since its launch, it has experimented with pricing and packages, but has never been able to find that would satisfy subscribers while keeping the company afloat. It has used questionable business practices, suffered from significant technical and financial issues, and seems to be playing a shell game. Ultimately, we believe MoviePass will fail because it has not kept its promises to subscribers.
That is probably one reason the AMC Stubs A-List subscription has been so popular. Since its launch in late June 2018, the company has added 900,000 subscribers and reported $1.5 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2019. The companys original goal for subscribers was 500,000 within one year. They have nearly doubled that goal. AMC, too, has altered its pricing since launch, but it has done so transparently, something MoviePass did not do. MoviePasss problems and AMCs success may have played a role in why Regal Cinemas is trying its hand at offering an unlimited movie subscription service with three tiers ranging from $18 to $24 a month.
At this point, we do not sympathize with MoviePasss woes. They have brought problems on themselves, but we do feel for MoviePass subscribers who are not getting what they paid for.