Report: TV, Radio Stations Owned by Cox Media Group Forced Off Air by Ransomware Attack

Several TV and radio live streams operated by Cox Media Group-owned stations were forced off the air Friday by a ransomware attack, reports The Record.

”This morning we were told to shut down everything and log out [of] our emails to ensure nothing spread. According to my friends at affiliate stations, we shut things down in time to be safe and should be back up and running soon,” a Cox employee told the news outlet in a private conversation.

The hack didn’t affect the company’s websites, though some broadcasts were still not live as of late Friday.

Cox Media Group owns 57 radio and television stations across the U.S. Multiple TV stations are streaming live again, but all Cox Media radio stations remain unavailable, according to Tech Times.

Brent Martineau, sports director of Jacksonville stations CBS47/FOX30, posted about the outage in a since-deleted tweet. 

”No stream today,” Martineau posted, according to The Record. ”Apologies. Gotta listen on ESPN690 today and we hope to have a podcast but not sure yet. Hoping it’s just a one day thing. @ActionSportsJax on @ESPN690Jax.”

Several U.S. businesses have been targeted by ransomware attacks this year, including Colonial Pipeline last month. The attackers, a criminal group by the name of DarkSide that has substantial operations in Russia, froze the oil company’s business records.

The result was gasoline shortages and price surges. Colonial paid the hackers more than $4 million as part of a ransom demand. 

The White House on Thursday warned companies to act now on ransomware defenses.

”Much as our homes have locks and alarm systems and our office buildings have guards and security to meet the threat of theft, we urge you to take ransomware seriously and ensure your corporate cyberdefenses match the threat,” wrote Anne Neuberger, a deputy national security adviser.

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