The second largest American television network, the Sinclair Broadcast Group was removed from the air after a ransomware attack. In An announcement, The operator announced that part of its servers and workstations had been encrypted, which caused an interruption in its programming.
According to reports, on Saturday (October 16), the company began action to contain an investigation and a possible security incident. On Sunday, October 17, Sinclair identified the attack as a result of ransomware, which disrupted operational and office networks.
The company’s internal corporate network was downsized, emails and telephone connections were also affected, further complicating the situation.
The ransomware attack missed part of the broadcast system known as “master control”, which allowed Sinclair to replace planned local programming on the affected channels with the national feed. Thus, some channels were in the air.
The TV network says it is working to determine what information the data contains, and the next step will be based on its review. A cybersecurity forensic agency has already been hired and law enforcement and government officials have been notified of what happened.
A great TV network
As one of the largest “media empires” in the United States, the Sinclair Broadcast Group controls 294 television stations in 89 markets, covering 40% of American households with conservative tone content.
Network Fox is the largest owner of stations affiliated with ABC and CW. With the attack, dozens of local news and other content such as morning shows and upcoming NFL games were broadcast.
The company said in a statement that “the incident disrupted certain parts of the company’s business (and may continue to occur), including some aspects of delivering ads through its local broadcasters on behalf of its customers.” Sinclair claims to be working diligently to restore functions quickly and safely.
According to reports, the company is in the early stages of its investigation and evaluation of what happened. Therefore, the TV network cannot determine at this time whether such an event will have a material impact on its business, operations or financial decisions.
Smuggling of tadpoles
A ransomware attack basically involves the transfer of sensitive data with return-on-reward, where cybercriminals enter systems and encrypt sensitive files. The main victims are large corporations and even governments.
The stolen data is inaccessible until the bad guys get the ransom. Because of their rigorous surveillance, cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin) have long been a preferred payment method for hackers. Values can run into the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.
Some of the latest ransomware cases that have had far-reaching consequences were the Colonial Pipeline Company in May this year and JBS in June. First, the main U.S. East Coast pipeline system was closed for almost a week, with $ 4.4 million in cryptocurrencies (approximately $ 241 million today) being bailed out. In the second case, the world’s largest meat producer paid $ 11 million (R $ 60 million) in bitcoin to a group of hackers who temporarily shut down the company’s factories in the United States, Canada and Australia.
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