Urban One has disclosed more details about a cyber-attack that temporarily crippled some of its IT systems and databases, preventing it from running commercials, exposing it to potential lawsuits from parties impacted by the breach and costing the company at least $1 million.
The ransomware attack occurred over several days in late February and early March, Urban One said in a regulatory filing. Once discovered, the company “took immediate action” and hired a cybersecurity firm to evaluate its systems and find solutions to what are described as “evolving circumstances.” The attackers not only gained access to Urban One’s proprietary IT systems and databases, they then proceeded to encrypt them. “The attack caused some initial disruption to our ability to traffic radio advertising spots, which was quickly remediated,” the company said in the filing.
So far, Urban One says there “there is no evidence” of mass copying, transfer or retrieval of its data. To be extra cautious, the company says it notified and provided credit monitoring and identity protection services to all parties that may have been affected by the attack.
The company had to shell out $500,000 in expenses to respond to the incident, rebuild its back-office systems and upgrade hardware and software. And while the attack is over, the cost Urban One incurred from it is not. It’s still racking up expenses for an investigation and various remedies. And even though Urban One has insurance for this type of situation, it remains unclear how much of its losses will ultimately be covered.
The ransomware attack also had an impact on the company’s first quarter financial results. In addition to $500,000 in expenses, the company took a $500,000 to $800,000 hit from lost ad revenue due to the attack.