Major TV Broadcast Group Suffered Security Breach, Data Stolen

Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBG), which owns operates various networks and TV stations across the United States, has suffered a ransomware attack.

Company workstations and servers were affected, however SBG has yet to comment on the number of TV stations impacted by the issue. The group is based in Maryland and owns/operates 21 regional sports networks and operates/provides services to 185 television stations in 86 markets.

A station in Nashville, Tennessee issued a notice stating that they were “unable to access … email and … phone calls to the station” due to “serious technical issues.” SBG has been investigating the attack since Saturday, and is currently taking action to control and contain the incident. The company warns that disruptions to its business, including local advertisements/local broadcasting may continue to be an issue due to the breach.

Thus far, no ransomware groups have stepped forward to claim credit for the attack. There’s no word yet on whether the breach will have a lasting effect on Sinclair’s finances and business operations. Shares for the company declined around 3.3%.

Ransomware attacks have been on the rise in the last year. Cybercriminals are finding these types of tactics profitable, as ransomware payments soared past $400 million last year. Large groups from various industries have been targeted, including Colonial Pipeline, JBS Foods, amongst others.

It’s important to illustrate just how sophisticated and oftentimes successful cyberattacks can be in disrupting services that the general public relies on in their daily lives. From television, to food, to fuel, there’s a number of infrastructures that can become stilted should threat actors gain access to victim’s networks and servers. From an individual standpoint, people should focus on staying up to date with cybersecurity best practices and employing strategies to keep their data safe.

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