Entercom’s Ransomware Attack: What We Know As Of Now
The most talked about topic of the past 48 hours has been something that nobody is allowed to talk about.
Over the weekend Entercom’s internal networks were hit with a ransomeware attack making it the third national radio group to be hit this year following Townsquare Media and Radio One along with many other smaller operators including WMNF Tampa, Max Media Marion/Carbondale IL and others.
While nobody at the company will go on the record, we have heard from multiple sources that the Entercom systems were compromised through what is believed to be from an affected machine on the programming side which spread through their shared internal systems to bring down other services including shared network drives, production, billing, traffic as well as all e-mail accounts. Thankfully playout systems were locked down allowing stations to continue broadcasting. Many stations are currently doing music logs by hand and are utilizing previously uploaded traffic logs or no commercials are running.
While Entercom is not paying the supposed $500,000 ransom, the costs to fix the attack will go well beyond that. In its first quarter earnings report, Radio One indicated that it cost that amount for them to repair issues connected to their attack in addition to $500,000 to $800,000 in lost advertising revenue. KQED San Francisco detailed their recovery from an attack in 2017 that cost them $475,000 for new network protections.
This is not an issue just for radio stations. In recent weeks high profile attacks have been made on municipal governments, city services, and school districts. If your station hasn’t been fully safeguarded, it needs to become an urgent priority immediately.