KQED, San Francisco’s biggest public broadcasting station, has suffered a ransomware attack that has set it back about 20 years. While the cyber attack first took place a month ago, it is a prime example of the lingering effects of major security breaches.
The infection began on June 15th, wiping out pre-recorded segments, locking up hard drives, and crashing the internal email server. The FM broadcast was able to persevere, however the online broadcast was out of commission for 12 hours.
One month later, KQED is still printing and manually distributing scripts and using stopwatches to time segments. The ransom demanded was expensive–thousands of dollars for each encrypted file. As a publicly funded station, it was not something KQED could afford.