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Cyber-Attack Now Suspected in US Cox TV & Radio Outages!

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US Cox Media Group tv, radio station streams affected by a reported ransomware attack.

A reported ransomware attack on Cox Media Group (CMG) has crippled streaming & other internal operations of dozens of radio & television stations scattered across America’s 20 broadcast markets.

CMG has will not comment on the reported attack & has not responded to a request for comment. A member of Atlanta’s WSB-TV news team, a Cox affiliate impacted by the outage, also declined to provide an update on operations & referred media inquiries to CMG corporate.

Streaming Service Hulu

Recorded Future 1st reported the ransomware attack & others news outlets quickly confirmed CMG feeds were being disrupted – including streaming service Hulu. The popular service sent a tweet from its support Twitter account apologising for service disruption of Atlanta WSB-TV’s evening news last Thur.

Hulu has not responded to requests for comment.

Streaming appears to be functioning normally at affiliates including WSB-TV Atlanta & Boston 25 affiliate.  However, the CMG’s radio stations do not seem to be 100% back online. Streaming was down for The Eagle 80’s Rock Hits in Dayton, Orlando’s 96.5 WDBO & other CMG radio stations checked at the time of publication.

A Further Ransomware Attack

The likely cyber-attack and subsequent disruption of broadcast communications is just the latest critical – or otherwise vital – computer infrastructure crippled by ransomware attacks.

The attack also dovetails an announcement by the US Department of Justice that it is applying the same tactics to root out ransomware operators as it does with terrorists.

Week-Long Crippling

“It’s a specialised process to ensure we track all ransomware cases regardless of where it may be referred in this country, so you can make the connections between actors and work your way up to disrupt the whole chain,” John Carlin, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Justice Department told Reuters.

Besides the fallout from the nearly week-long crippling of the Colonial Pipeline, JBS Foods, a global food distributor & Japanese conglomerate Fujifilm both confirmed massive ransomware attacks on operations.

Federal Ransomware Relief? 

While the US Federal law enforcement steps up its efforts to track ransomware operators, Kunal Anand, Chief Technology Officer with Imperva is calling on the US Govt. to provide direct support to the private sector.

“The Federal Govt. needs to step up – more than ever – to help businesses that are vulnerable & unaware of how to protect themselves from the growing volume of ransomware attacks & other cyber-attack risks,” Anand commented.

Government-Run Agency

He argued the US Govt. should consider allocating resources to create a government-run agency mandated to help the private sector with ransomware prevention & mitigation resources.

“At a time when the nation is under siege by ransomware attacks that are disrupting daily life, the US Govt. needs to ask industry leaders to donate their time – whether it is helping provide recommendations, setting up resource groups, etc. This should be seen as a patriotic duty,” Anand commented.

 

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