Owner Of Local News Stations Across The Country Hit By Ransomware Attack

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Jesse Stiller Contributor
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Several local news stations are unable to access their computer networks after their parent company was hit with a ransomware attack over the weekend.

The Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is a parent company of multiple news stations, reported that unknown hackers had used ransomware on their servers and reported that data had been stolen, NBC News reported Monday.

Sinclair first identified the intrusion on Oct. 16, and the company has launched an investigation into the extent of the hack, according to a news release from Sinclair Broadcast Group posted on Businesswire.

“On October 17, 2021, the Company identified that certain servers and workstations in its environment were encrypted with ransomware, and that certain office and operational networks were disrupted,” Sinclair said, adding that data was taken from the network by the hackers.

Multiple servers were reportedly infected with ransomware, according to NBC. (RELATED: Hackers Stole Social Security Numbers, Driver’s License Info From 47 Million T-Mobile Customers)

“The event has caused…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 said in the statement.

Sinclair added that a legal counsel, a cybersecurity forensic firm and other professionals were recruited to partake in a forensic investigation, according to the release. The company also said it had notified law enforcement and governmental agencies.

The media conglomerate did not specify how many stations were impacted by the hack or if any programming lineups would be affected.

In July, Biden had promised that there would be “consequences” against Russia amid several ransomware attacks from the country over the past year, including an attack that shut down Colonial Pipeline, one of the top pipeline operators in the United States.