Another radio station has fallen victim to a ransomware attack, this time Sky High Broadcasting religious teaching outlet “The Word” KNEO Joplin, MO (91.7). The attack corrupted the station’s audio files and came with a demand of $100,000 to restore them.
GM Mark Taylor told FourStates HomePage that the company did not pay the extortion fees, and instead has had IT techs working on the issue that was discovered on Sunday, Aug. 11.
“For what we do here at KNEO Radio, it’s just another challenge that will make us come back stronger than ever,” Taylor said. The hackers were tracked to Russia due to the type of software that was used in the attack, which Taylor says is similar to software utilized to attack government agency computers.
Cyber-attacks on radio station files have recently become an increasingly common and frustrating issue for broadcasters. Attacks affected adult alternative “88.5 Community Radio” WMNF Tampa, River Radio of Southern Illinois and Urban One, which reported that an attack that crippled some of its IT systems and databases ultimately cost the company $1 million in lost revenue and expenses.
The issue was also the subject of a panel, “Preparing for A Cyber Attack: A Case Study” at the NAB Show in Las Vegas in April. “The warning is clear. If you don’t want to have your networks attacked and risk disrupting your business, you need to pay attention and be prepared,” KQED San Francisco Chief Technology Officer Dan Mansergh told attendees. His station was the victim of a ransomware attack in June 2017 that took months to recover from.