Cox Group, which manages 33 TV stations including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and 65 radio stations, suffers ransomware attack

Through a statement, a representative of Cox Media Grouo (CMG) confirmed that the company was the victim of a ransomware attack that disrupted its radio and television broadcasts in mid-2021. In addition to reporting the incident to authorities, the company has had to directly notify more than 800 affected individuals, whose personal information could have been exposed.

CMG is a broadcast, publishing and digital media company created through the merger of Cox Newspapers, Cox Radio and Cox Television in 2008.

According to its message, Cox disconnected the affected systems immediately after detecting the cyberattack, in addition to reporting the situation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and contacting external cybersecurity advisors. Cox also confirmed that threat actors were able to collect personal information stored on the affected systems.

The company mentions that among the compromised personal records are details such as full names, addresses, social security numbers, insurance policy information, bank account numbers and other data stored by its Human Resources department, so it is assumed that the compromised information belongs to its employees.

On the other hand, the company assures that so far no evidence of malicious use of the compromised information has been detected. This is important as given the nature of the exposed data affected users would be vulnerable to identity fraud, data theft, wire fraud, and other variants of cybercrime.

Another notable claim is that CMG did not make the ransom payment and flatly refused to negotiate with the threat actors. The company also mentions that they have since implemented considerable improvements in their security systems to prevent more similar events from happening again. So far the malware variant used in the attack and the amount demanded by the hackers are unknown.

These measures include applying a password reset on your systems, using multi-factor authentication, and enabling additional security software on potentially exposed access points.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.