Sinclair Broadcasting Hit By Ransomware, WICS, KHQA Disrupted

By Benjamin Cox on October 18, 2021 at 5:51pm

Sinclair Broadcasting was hit by a ransomware attack that has caused some problems for local TV stations.

The Associated Press reports that Sinclair had some of its servers and work stations encrypted with ransomware and that data was stolen from its network. The company said it started investigating Saturday and on Sunday it found that some of its office and operational networks were disrupted. The broadcast group did not immediately say how many TV stations were directly affected.

According to WMAY in Springfield, WICS Newschannel 20 had some of its morning news broadcasts labeled as “pre-recorded” as the company works to sort out the issue. It was unclear how long the situation might persist, or whether other station operations were also affected. There has been no report on Quincy’s KHQA station as of the time of this report, but they also work in the Central Illinois Sinclair Broadcast affiliate network.

Sinclair said it’s taken measures to contain the breach and that its investigation is ongoing. However, it said that the data breach has caused — and may continue to cause — disruption to parts of its business, including aspects of local advertisements by local broadcast stations. The company said it is working to restore operations.