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After a Hack, KRYZ Deploys Network Protection

California LPFM station adds a security solution from Atsign

From our Who’s Buying What page: Network services provider Atsign says low-power FM station KRYZ in Mariposa, Calif., has adopted its Networking 2.0 Platform to secure its transmitter site infrastructure from hackers. 

“The move to Atsign came after the California station’s network programming was mysteriously switched to a Swedish radio station feed playing Scandinavian rock,” Atsign said in a release. “The disruption took the radio station several hours to correct.”

KRYZ Station Coordinator Kevin Bowman told Atsign that the hack was “fairly innocuous, but it opened our eyes to our vulnerabilities and far worse things that could have occurred.”

The incident prompted KRYZ to contact Atsign. As it happens, the CTO of Atsign, Colin Constable, is a station listener. 

“Atsign and KRYZ worked together to implement a security solution that closes all of the tower’s network attack surfaces (i.e., no listening network ports) yet still allows KRYZ to receive crucial operational data from the tower so they can easily and remotely monitor their tower’s health and status,” the press release continued.

“Additionally, using SSH No Ports, the station’s administrator can still access the network to administer and update the crucial network.”

Among other devices, KRYZ’s transmitter shed includes three Raspberry Pis. “One is used as a jump box that allows administrators to use Atsign’s SSH No Ports to access and administer all the equipment in the [shed], including the other two Raspberry Pis,” according to Atsign.

“The second is used to process the digital audio stream using an audio tool, which processes audio so it comes out nice and clean on FM stereo format. The third is used to monitor the transmitter’s health and status, and to send alerts if there are any problems.”

KRYZ ultimately invited Constable to join the radio station board. The LPFM station went on the air in 2015, and earlier this year it was transferred from the Chrysalis Institute to the organization Mariposa Community Radio.

[See Our Who’s Buying What Page]

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