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5,000 MTV Networks' employees potential affected by breach

An employee's computer was compromised via an Internet connection and files containing birth dates, social security numbers and wage information may have been compromised.

Someone apparently hacked into a computer belong to an employee of MTV Networks and possibly gained access to names, birth dates, social security numbers and compensation data of 5,000 employees.

MTV Networks, a unit of media conglomerate Viacom, notified employees of the security compromise on Friday and said that while the computer files pertaining to employees' private information were password protected, the company can't be sure they haven't been opened.

"Once we learned of the incident, we immediately launched an internal investigation," the company said in a statement. "We ... contacted appropriate law enforcement authorities, who have begun a criminal investigation."

The company apologized to employees and provided phone numbers to credit-monitoring services to help protect them from identity theft.