Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the largest television network conglomerates in the U.S fell victim to a ransomware attack causing mass disruptions throughout its entire network.
According to Bloomberg, the notorious Russian ransomware gang, Evil Corp, was responsible. Evil Corp showcased their new strain of malware in the attack known as ‘Macaw ransomware’, a variation of their previous creation - WastedLocker ransomware.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is the leading provider of local news in the United States, suggesting that this could have been a targeted attempt to disrupt the deliverability of news in the United States.
In its official statement, Sinclair revealed that besides encrypting their critical internal processes, the cyberattacks also included data exfiltration.
“On October 16, 2021, the Company identified and began to investigate and take steps to contain a potential security incident. On October 17, 2021, the Company identified that certain servers and workstations in its environment were encrypted with ransomware and that certain office and operational networks were disrupted. Data also was taken from the Company’s network. The Company is working to determine what information the data contained and will take other actions as appropriate based on its review.” Sinclair said in its statement.
The addition of data theft alongside encryption is characteristic of the latest phase in the evolution of ransomware, a development that could now classify ransomware attacks as data breaches.
Sinclair still hasn’t recovered from an attack that has seized all of its modern systems and reverted its technology back 40 years.