cybersecurity
(Photo : Pixabay/B_A) Cybercrime attacks

A ransomware attack has affected Cox Media stations, which resulted in disruption on TV and radio broadcasts. 

Numerous Cox Media-owned TV and radio stations were taken off air on June 3, and a lot of radio stations remain unavailable online.

The Cox Media Group has not commented about the issue, but reports stated that the media conglomerate was targeted by ransomware.

Cox Media Ransomware Attack

According to The Record, the incident took out solely the Cox live streams, but it did not affect the company's websites.

A Cox employee told The Record that they were told to shut down everything and log out their emails to ensure that nothing spreads. The company has shut things down to be safe, and they are expecting to be back up and running soon.

Also Read: Apple Ransomware Attack: Hackers Hit Manufacturer, Demanding Money in Exchange for Stolen Files

The outage affected other companies which relay live streams from Cox, such as Hulu. Hulu support responded to viewer complaints on Twitter and stated that there is currently an issue with the feed and is now being investigated.

Cox hosts Brent Martineau and Will Bradley both tweeted about the incident. Bradley stated that the live news was off-air due to a reported ransomware attack. However, both Bradley's and Martineau's tweets have since been taken down.

The Cox Media Group owns 57 radio and television stations across the United States. AppleInsider confirmed that at least multiple television stations are streaming live again, but all Cox Media radio stations remain unavailable.

There is still no indication of who is behind the ransomware attack, nor what methods were used. However, it comes after the U.S. Federal Government has warned about the increased ransomware attacks that exploit the vulnerability of the industries.

Increased Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks have been on the rise since 2020, and it has become the biggest single money earner for cybercriminals, according to TechCrunch.

Cyber intelligence firm and threat hunting Group-IB estimate that the number of ransomware attacks grew by more than 150% in 2020 and that the average ransom demand increased to $170,000.

According to ABC News, several ransomware attacks are suspected of coming from Eastern Europe and Russia.

The FBI has attributed the JBS attack on June 2 to Russia-based hacking groups Sokinokibi and REvil. The Colonial Pipeline breach that happened last week was linked to the Eastern Europe-based criminal organization DarkSide.

The U.S cybersecurity community and government officials have not ruled out Russia as a major player behind the massive cyberattacks. Russian intelligence has also been known to cooperate with Easter European cybercriminals in the past.

Alex Stamos, the former chief security officer of Facebook and current adjunct professor at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation, pointed out two primary motivations behind these ransomware attacks: political and financial. 

Stamos added that there is a nonzero economic impact of having billions of dollars stolen from companies worldwide then flow into the Russian economy.

Related Article: Fujifilm Shuts Down Global Network After Massive Ransomware Attack: Accepting, Processing Orders Affected

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Written by Sophie Webster

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