A cyberattack disrupted the Australian Channel Nine’s live broadcasts on Sunday.
As a result, the Australian broadcaster’s Sunday morning news program didn’t air live from Sidney at its usual hours, 7:00 am to 1:00 pm. Its 5:00 pm news program from Melbourne did not air either.
Channel Nine confirmed the unprecedented cyberattack impacted its IT network. The company said, however, its email systems had not been affected.
“We wish to inform you there has been a cyberattack on our systems which has disrupted live broadcasts out of Nine Sydney,” the company said in an email sent to staff. “Our IT teams are working around the clock to fully restore our systems which have primarily affected our broadcast and corporate business units.”
The company managed to resume the normal broadcasting only by the 6:00 pm news program. It went on air from the studio in Melbourne on a regular schedule. The broadcaster asked its personnel to work from home, while it works on resuming all its programs completely.
“A source, who did not want to be identified as he was not allowed to speak to media, said Nine management had informed staff that a “malicious” cyberattack was suspected to be the cause,” reported ABC news. “The Australian Financial Review, which is also owned by Nine, also reported that the media company was likely the target of a cyberattack, the effects of which could last beyond Sunday.”
In a later update to Melbourne viewers, Nine’s Alicia Loxley confirmed that the operations had been disrupted by a ransomware attack.
“Cyber hackers have targeted Channel Nine in a massive ransomware attack bringing down its network Australia-wide. No-one has claimed responsibility for the bug but IT experts are working to bring systems back on-line,” said Loxley.
Since there were no demands of ransom, TV Blackbox claimed the attacks had been launched by Russian hackers with the intent to prevent the company from airing an episode of Under Investigation, which reveals uncomfortable facts about Russian President Vladimir Putin, and was to air on Monday.
Under Investigation went on air as planned on Monday.