- The Weather Channel suffered a ransomware attack on Thursday morning.
- The network was knocked off air for over an hour as a result of the malware attack.
- Ransomware is a type of malware used by cybercriminals to lock up a target’s computer or network. Once the malicious software is installed, it holds your computer hostage or blocks access to files by encrypting them.
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The Weather Channel was kicked off air on Thursday morning after suffering a "malicious software attack," the network said via Twitter.
"We experienced issues with this morning’s live broadcast following a malicious software attack on the network. We were able to restore live programming quickly through backup mechanisms. Federal law enforcement is actively investigating the issue. We apologize for any inconvenience to viewers as we work to resolve the matter," the network said.
The channel was knocked off air around 6 a.m. and didn’t get back up for over an hour.
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) said that the takedown was part of a ransomware attack on the network.
Ransomware is a type of malware used by cybercriminals to lock up a target’s computer or network. Once the malicious software is installed, it holds your computer hostage or blocks access to files by encrypting them.
Cyber thieves use the software to extort money from their victims, often in the form of a digital currency like bitcoin.
The software is usually spread via phishing emails or by visiting an infected site.
This isn’t the first time ransomware has disrupted a media operation.
In December, a form of ransomware called Ryuk struck Tribune Publishing, halting the company’s ability to print newspapers.
According to Symantec’s 2019 Internet Security Threat Report, businesses are becoming more of a target for hackers looking to spread ransomware.
Ransomware attacks against enterprises were up 12% last year, according to the report.
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