A leading international media outlet, Guardian, was recently attacked in what is suspected to be caused by Ransomware. This happening started late on Tuesday night and has damaged several components of the company’s technological infrastructure. As a result, some employees have been required to work from home, and there has been some disruption to the services that occur behind the scenes. Their online writings have, for the most part, remained unaffected by the recent events since new tales are still being produced and added to the renowned website and app. The business has expressed its conviction that it could publish the newspaper’s printed edition on Thursday.
However, top editors don’t have any information regarding the nature of the outage that occurred lately. Although it has yet to be discovered for certain if or not a demand for a ransom has been issued, it is common practice for hackers to wait several days before making a demand. Although at this stage, the company stated that it felt the event was likely to be a ransomware attack, cybercriminals have frequently targeted news organizations worldwide through computer network attacks. Hackers obtain access to a computer system and then demand that the system be repaired before restoring services.
Workers were Instructed to Work from Home following the Attack.
According to researchers, Guardian was the seventh most-read news website in November, with almost 390 million visitors. This hit had a substantial impact on the company’s IT infrastructure and caused the disruption of a number of behind-the-scenes functions. The vast majority of their workforce have now resorted to working from home, as they had been able to do during the epidemic back then. While a few exceptions still require their presence, the IT teams have been working to deal with all facets of this incident.
In a similar event, Fast Company was forced offline for eight days in September as a result of a cyberattack on the business publication. The hackers used Apple News to distribute inflammatory push notifications during the attack. Also, the dissatisfied employees allegedly posted inappropriate comments on the newspaper’s website and Twitter accounts in October, according to The New York Post.
Ransomware Attacks on News Outlets now becoming a Norm
Ransomware is one most significant types of online crime that businesses must contend with in the modern era. It is a type of malicious software, sometimes known as malware, that encrypts files and documents of various sizes, ranging from a personal computer to an entire network, including servers.
The ransomware attack leaves victims with few options: they may either pay the criminals responsible for the attack to regain access to their encrypted network. Restore data from their backups or hope that a decryption key is publicly available. Or they begin their work from the very beginning. When the file is opened, it triggers the download of the malicious payload and encrypts the network. Some ransomware outbreaks begin when an employee within an organization clicks on an attachment that appears safe but dangerous.
How Best to Protect your Organization against Cyber Attacks
When it comes to defending your organization effectively, taking preventative action and having a strategy ready in the event of a security incident are both essential components. And most news organizations need to start taking precautionary measures to this effect.
Do you offer training in the awareness of security risks? It should help you in providing better insight into how best to tackle a problem. Also, the following should be noted for every organization’s staff and IT department.
- Make everyone constantly aware of their surroundings.
- User training should be continual and go beyond the yearly requirements for compliance training.
- Regular Security Awareness testing exercises should be carried out in order to monitor and control the behavior of users.
- Is the management of your Network up to par?
- Maintain your familiarity with the most recent developments in cybersecurity.
- Carry out the necessary security and system upgrades, as well as patching.
- Maintain a state of ‘alertness’ by ensuring that your network and system monitoring are always active.
This should serve as another reminder that attackers won’t take a holiday this Christmas season; ransomware will continue to strike, given its efficiency. If the attackers had access to an organization’s internal communications, they would probably use the threat of disclosing potentially embarrassing emails to demand a ransom payment. However, it is customary for attackers to hold off until the ideal time to reveal new holes they have found in the organizational infrastructure, particularly over the holidays when IT manpower may be constrained.
Several significant lessons can be drawn from this experience; Organizations must combine efficient data recovery tools with ransomware detection and recovery solutions. Organizations must have comprehensive incident response strategies in place in order to alert their clients, workers, business partners, and the media of potential breaches. And finally, to stop vulnerabilities from being exploited, routine technological audits need to happen more frequently than they did in the past.