Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which is one of the country’s largest owners of local television stations, revealed on Monday that they were hit with a ransomware cyberattack that disrupted news and sports programming.
At the time of this writing, it’s not clear who is responsible for carrying out the attack or the purpose behind it, but it caused news shows and sports broadcasts, including some NFL games, to be off the air on Sunday and Monday across the company’s 184 local television stations in 86 different markets.
“The event has caused — and may continue to cause — disruption to parts of the Company’s business, including certain aspects of its provision of local advertisements by its local broadcast stations on behalf of its customers,” Sinclair went on to say in a statement.
A series of massive attacks on the computer systems of the federal government , the Colonial Pipeline , and the meat producer JBS has brought mainstream awareness to the need for increased cybersecurity protections within governments and businesses.
The company said it has hired a cybersecurity forensic firm, which is still conducting an investigation, and engaged other incident response professionals. The television giant also notified law enforcement and other government agencies of the incident.
“The Company identified that certain servers and workstations in its environment were encrypted with ransomware, and that certain office and operational networks were disrupted. Data also was taken from the Company’s network,” Sinclair continued .
The Biden administration and Congress have tried to tackle the growing problem of ransomware with relevant executive orders and new legislation.
This goes to show you that cyberattacks are a real threat to our national security. Imagine if a foreign country had the capabilities to shutdown our internet. They could prevent us from communicating with each other and cause all kinds of havoc financially. It would be disastrous. Chaos would hit the streets. Riots. Violence. Destruction.
We really need to get on the ball and develop better defensive tools against this sort of attack.
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