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Station Was Hit by Ransomware Virus

CryptoWall is blamed for Louisiana attack

For an update on this story, click here.

The Louisiana radio station whose computer systems were attacked apparently was victimized by “ransomware” that affected its data server.

As we reported earlier, the station reportedly was off the air for some hours. According to OMT Technologies, which took a call from the worried broadcaster because its automation system was among those affected, the station apparently had been attacked by a virus called CryptoWall that corrupted a server that supports several station systems.

The virus encrypts data and demands a payment from the victim. (Here is a recent news account about this “ransomware.”)

OMT President/CEO Bill Baines said that although the problem was not related to OMT software, his staff assisted the station in its efforts to disconnect its automation and focus on the problematic server.

Baines did not comment about specifics of the station’s IT setup but, speaking generally, he advised stations to be aware of OS updates and to keep antivirus software current. But he said firewalls can’t always protect stations from IT intrusions because viruses can come in via otherwise legitimate carriers. For this reason, many larger broadcasters, he said, physically separate all broadcast assets from the outside world.

Neither the company nor the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters identified the station.