Cox Media Group suffers cyber attack

Live feeds on TV and radio stations go offline during incident

Cox Media logo on a black screen

Cox Media Group appeared to be struggling with a ransomware attack on Thursday after many of its live streams went down.

Sources within the company told cyber security news site The Record that they had been ordered to shut down all of their computers to stop the problem from spreading. Live streams from the company's TV and radio stations also went down as the company reportedly had to suspend some live programming.

Some employee tweets yesterday apologizing for feeds being down were unavailable today. However, a tweet from streaming TV operation Hulu reporting issues with feeds from Cox-owned properties was still viewable this morning.

Cox is a large US media conglomerate, comprising 54 radio stations in 10 markets and 33 TV stations in 20 markets. It also operates the conservative news site rare.us, which appears to be unaffected.

Live feeds still appeared to be down on some Cox-owned radio sites, including WHIO 1290 this morning.

Sources reportedly described the incident as a ransomware attack to The Record. The cyber event comes on the heels of unrelated attacks on large meat producer JBS and the Colonial Pipeline. The latter disrupted gasoline supplies in some parts of the US.

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The US has recently increased its ransomware attacks scrutiny as they begin to pose a more visible national security threat.

On Thursday, National Security Council official Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology, sent an open letter to US businesses urging them to be more resilient after the JBS and Colonial attacks. The letter laid out a series of protective steps, including backing up data, segmenting their networks, and maintaining an incident response plan.

The Department of Justice also sent internal guidance yesterday elevating ransomware attack investigations to a similar priority level as terrorism, reported Reuters.

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