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The shutdown of two local television stations is attributed to a ransom attack on their parent company, and experts believe that the attackers kept the data as a hostage and were paid by the company.
Owner Cox media group owns Pittsburgh’s NBC affiliate WPXI and Orlando’s ABC affiliate WFTV. Cox has asked the managers of these stations to shut down their phones and computers. Communication among the employees is restricted to text messages and personal phones. Despite this, both stations managed to broadcast local news at the station, but they operate on somewhat restricted resources.
Cox was held, hostage ransom
According to experts, Hackers held the Cox servers hostage and demanded ransom for the files after breaching the network. Cox has refused to release any statement regarding the attack. Silence has sparked suspicion, and it is most likely that the company will make a public comment soon.
An IT incident that spreads across multiple organizations is likely a ransom attack, experts say. According to experts, a ransomware breach is the primary cause of the unplanned and widespread attack. Ransomware can also be planted by malware. Cyberattacks are less likely to lead to this shutdown than other types of cyberattacks.
Employees are kept in the dark too
However, employees in Orlando were not plainly told what caused the company’s computer networks to malfunction, though the company asked them not to report to work on Thursday and Friday. According to an employee in Pittsburgh, the company shut down its servers on Thursday morning as a security precaution.
There isn’t much that the staff can do for the moment, since they are restricted from the computer networks, and the situation at the stations has become a bit tense. Organizations, schools, hospitals, and businesses in the US have been under constant attack for decades.
Recently, the US federal government encountered a major problem when an attack on one of the largest companies in the country led to the suspension of gas supplies for five consecutive days.
NBC News reported
“Many of the most prolific ransom gangs, including those responsible for the JBS and Colonial hacks, speak Russian and have at least some members based in Russia who appear to operate with impunity, leading President Joe Biden to say he’s “looking closely” at retaliating.”