Cyber security: News channel goes offline after malicious software attack


At a time when the world is in the midst of Lorna, Fani and other cyclonic storms, the iconic American TV channel 'The Weather Channel' went offline for about an hour on Thursday, April 18. Later, the company confirmed in a Twitter post that it was a malicious software attack on the network that caused the interruption.

The company used the backups to restore those affected computers and almost an hour later the live transmission became normal. Meanwhile, the viewers of the news channel urged for an explanation on Twitter to understand why the live program stopped.

The twitter account of The Weather Channel replied to the queries while stating the fact that it was a cyber-attack. They also mentioned that "We were able to restore live programming quickly through backup mechanisms. Federal law enforcement is actively investigating the issue. We apologize for any inconvenience to viewers as we work to resolve the matter."

However, as per the Wall Street Journal, FBI officials classified it as a ransomware attack, and they did not reveal the details of the cybercriminals or how these hackers got access to the computer system. The officials also did not disclose whether any ransom was demanded or not.

The well-known cybersecurity company, Malwarebytes stated that ransomware or ransom malware prevents users from accessing their system or personal files and demands a ransom payment in order to regain access. The earliest variants of ransomware were developed in the late 1980s and payment was to be sent via snail mail.

The data shared by Malwarebytes showed that in 2017, 35 percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) had experienced a ransomware attack. As per their findings, 22 percent of organizations had to cease business operations immediately, 81 percent of business experienced a cyber attack and 66 percent have suffered from a data breach.

Related topics : Ransomware