Sinclair Broadcast Group Hit By Ransomware
The latest group to be plagued by ransomware was none other than one of the largest media outlets in the United States, Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ: NGBI). This led to massive outages across their TV stations on October 16th and a resulting stock plunge shortly after.
Initially, it was reported that technical difficulties caused the outages, but the US Securities and Exchange Commission published a filing from Sinclair two days later, identifying ransomware as the true cause of the outage.
"Certain servers and workstations in its environment were encrypted with ransomware, and that certain office and operational networks were disrupted," the report detailed. "Data also was taken from the Company’s network. The Company is working to determine what information the data contained and will take other actions as appropriate based on its review."
The report also showcases that many systems were still affected, so the company is not fully up and running as they were prior to the attack. This continued interruption was noted as potential disruptions to "certian aspects of its provision of local advertisements by its local broadcast stations on behalf of its customers."
As Ransomware becomes more and more prevalent in today's digital society, it becomes increasingly necessary to ensure you are taking the steps to keep your broadcast safe. "The attacks are not limited to only high-profile companies, many small mom and pop shops are being affected as well." says Kevin Frank, Security Engineer from Overwatch Data Services. "The mainstream media is quick to report large company breaches, ransomware attacks and security flaws. This often leads smaller businesses to think that they are not at risk for these same types of attacks."
Education is the first step to helping prevent these types of attacks. Many of the attacks originate from unknown emailers, or emailers using a fake account (called a spoof email). "Knowing about the various methods of attack is a great first step." Kevin says.
"When many of the small businesses begin service with us, they do not have a good disaster plan, backups or a worthwhile antivirus or firewall setup. This would be absolutely devastating to a small business who does not have the financial means to float several days or weeks if they had to rebuild." Overwatch Data Services offers antivirus as well as security consulting services for small and medium businesses that is very affordable. Be sure to contact them today to ensure your systems are protected.
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