cyberattackers evil corp hit sinclair broadcast group with ransomware

MSP Responder: Sinclair Broadcasting Ransomware Attack

Another ransomware attack has occurred in the broadcasting industry. This time, Sinclair Broadcast Group was hit by cyber attackers who locked down their systems and demanded a ransom. This comes months after Cox Media Group was attacked, triggering the shutdown of several television and radio stations.

The cyber attack, carried out by Russian hacking group “Evil Corp,” forced the disruption of many local newscasts throughout a two-day period.

Cyber attackers have been focused on infrastructure-related industries, because there is a little more urgency with getting back online. This is because an outage of any sort may affect a lot of people outside of the walls of the hacked organization. A prime target, Sinclair manages 185 television stations and regional sports networks in 86 markets.

While hacked Sinclair stations were able to stay online, showing previously aired programming, their news editing, scheduling and writing software was rendered unavailable.

Even two weeks later, television stations were still experiencing difficulties in airing regularly scheduled programming, both live news and syndicated content.

Understandably, Sinclair has been pretty tight-lipped about what information was compromised. Spokespeople issued a statement to the SEC, saying ” the Company cannot determine at this time whether or not such event will have a material impact on its business, operations or financial results.” However, after news broke about the breach, stock prices decreased by 3% as a result of the attack.

Evil Corp has been on the US government’s radar for quite some time as the US Treasury Department hit known affiliates with sanctions in 2019. The sanction prohibited organizations from paying ransom to Evil Corp, in an effort to curb ransomware attacks.

How Can I Prevent Ransomware Attacks?

All of this is further evidence that MSPs need to be prioritizing email security. The security provided by email hosts like Microsoft is simply not enough anymore.

For Mailprotector, email security is all we do. Our aim is to create the most secure, partner-friendly tool out there to help you stay on top of email security. Read more about what you can do to prepare in our blog, “How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks.”

Preventing Ransomware Attacks eBook (PDF)

Read an in-depth summary where we look at several recent ransomware attacks to break down exactly what happened, which ransomware prevention plans worked, and which ones didn’t hold up when it mattered the most.

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