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Sinclair Broadcast Group said Monday that it was the victim of a ransomware attack, resulting in dozens of local newscasts and other programming being pulled off the air Sunday and Monday.
Sinclair is one of the largest owners of local TV stations in the U.S., operating 184 stations in 86 markets. The incident began on Sunday, with a source saying that emails and corporate phone lines were also taken down, complicating the incident further.
“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. Data also was taken from the Company’s network,” Sinclair said in a statement early Monday morning. “The Company is working to determine what information the data contained and will take other actions as appropriate based on its review.”
Sinclair has also retained the services of a cybersecurity forensics firm and has notified law enforcement and government officials.
The ongoing disruption, which also kicked some NFL games off the air on Sunday, is likely to have an impact on the company’s businesses, though Sinclair could not immediately determine whether or not it would be a material impact.
“While the company is focused on actively managing this security event, the event has caused — and may continue to cause — 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 added in its statement. “The company is working diligently to restore operations quickly and securely.”
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