At least nine Cox Media Group stations were targeted in a ransomware attack on June 3, 2021.
Details of the attack have not been made public, as Cox Media Group hasn’t made any comments to the public, however we can report on what happened as a result of the attack.
How was Cox Media Group Affected by the Ransomware Attack?
Employees were contacted shortly after the threat began by Cox Media Group and asked to turn off company technology and phones and to not access their Cox email. Many were asked to delete social media posts about the outages. This caused some frustration among Cox employees, who wanted to tell viewers why they were offline.
Because the attack crippled the live stream of the news broadcasts, all TV stations had to either show replays of old news broadcasts or had to replace regularly scheduled broadcasts with national news broadcasts. All affected news stations were WFTV (Orlando), WPXI (Pittsburgh), KLAX-TV (Alexandria, Louisiana), WSB-TV (Atlanta), WFXT (Boston), WHIO-TV (Dayton, Ohio), WSOC-TV (Charlotte), WFTV (Orlando), and KOKI-TV (Tulsa), showed partial replays of old newscasts because of outages. Further, two of the affected stations, WFTV (Orlando) and WPXI (Pittsburgh) told employees to stay home as an extra precaution not knowing the extent of why or how they were under attack.
Cox Radio Group radio stations, the Eagle 80’s Rock Hits in Dayton, Orlando’s 96.5 WDBO were also down.
Due to the recent string of ransomware attacks that are affecting infrastructure-type organizations, authorities at the U.S. Department of Justice, FBI and even the office of President Biden are getting involved. These agencies are suggesting they will be using similar tactics to root out hackers as they do terrorists.
How Do I Prevent a Ransomware Attack?
Unfortunately, all organizations are potential targets.
“Simply put, ransomware attacks do not discriminate, as cybercriminals are simply looking to make money. No industry is spared. Anyone with a computer connected to the Internet is at risk.” -David Kelley, CFO at Mailprotector
A proper cyber resiliency plan will ensure that an organization, if attacked, will be able to bounce back.
Read More: How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks