Some Cox Stations Still Struggling After Last Week’s Cyber Attack

By Kevin Eck 

Some of the Cox Media Group stations hit by a ransomware attack last week are still struggling to get back to regular operations.

Orlando, Fla. ABC affiliate WFTV and Pittsburgh, Pa. NBC affiliate WPXI were two of the stations most affected by Thursday’s attack. FTVLive, which first reported about the attack, said WHIO in Dayton, Ohio “put on a newscast at noon on Friday, but appeared to scrap the newscast on Saturday.”

A ransomware attack is when hackers encrypt a company’s data and demand money for its release.

NBC News says employees were told to shut down computers and phones. “We are only able to communicate with each other over personal phones and text messages,” a WFTV employee who wasn’t authorized to speak for the company and requested not to be named said Friday.

The attack affected the livestreams and internal networks for CMG TV and radio stations.

Cox hasn’t responded to questions from TVSpy or other media outlets about what happened. But experts say the scope of the incident points to a ransomware attack.

“An ‘IT incident’ that spans multiple organizations in a company is almost always a ransomware attack,” cybersecurity analyst Allan Liska told NBC.