Ransomware Takes Weather Channel Live Broadcast Offline

The FBI is investigating a ransomware attack that shut down the Weather Channel’s program for an hour on Thursday, according to The Wall Street Journal. The early morning live broadcast was interrupted for some 90 minutes, forcing the cable channel to resort to a taped program. The Weather Channel confirmed in a tweet that it fell victim to “a malicious software attack.”

Backups were used to restore affected computers and live transmission soon returned, allowing the channel to resume its program. While the transmission stopped, viewers took to Twitter to find out what happened.

“We experienced issues with this morning’s live broadcast following a malicious software attack on the network,” reads the Twitter statement. “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.”


— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) April 18, 2019

According to The Wall Street Journal, the FBI confirmed a ransomware attack hit the network, but offered no details on how the hackers got inside the computer system or whether ransom was demanded.

Ransomware attacks are growing in complexity and becoming increasingly common in all industries. Most networks are vulnerable, so hackers target them if they see potential to steal data, destroy systems or make some easy cash. So far, large banks, corporations, hotels, educational institutions, hospitals, healthcare facilities and even local governments have been targeted by hackers looking to extort money.

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