AFP Investigating “Worst Ever” Cyber Attack On Nine
The Australian Federal Police and NSW Police are now investigating the ominous cyber attack which crippled operations at Nine Network over the weekend.
Australia’s largest media company was the target of a ransomware hack which saw Nine’s broadcasts fail to air and normal programming scrapped after its internal system was hacked and shut down.
The cyber attack has been described as the “worst” to ever hit an Australian media company.
Staff were unable to access emails or the internet and the broadcaster instead aired Melbourne’s news as it scrambled to find the source of the hack.
A Nine spokesperson confirmed to The Sydney Morning Herald that no data had been removed from its computer system but its internal team’s attempts to isolate the attacker has affected normal operations.
“As a precautionary measure, we isolated our network in order to protect the systems and data held on them,” a Nine spokesperson said.
“At this stage there is no indication any data has been removed from our systems. We are now moving to restore full services.”
Sources told the publication Nine had contacted the AFP and NSW Police about the attack and was also liaising with the Australian Signals Directorate’s cyber security agency.
NSW Police refused to confirm if it was investigating the matter when approached for comment.
Following the hack, Nine employees were told to check their laptops for a file named Recovery_Instructions.html, which is the calling card of a notorious ransomware named Medusa.
According to reports, Medusa does not steal data but instead cripples systems in order to demand a ransom.
Federal Parliament was also the target of a cyber attack over the weekend after a technical disruption caused MPs and senators to lose access to emails.
Assistant Defence Minister Andrew Hastie said the issue was linked to an external provider and all connections linked to the government system were shut off immediately in response.
“The government acted quickly, and we have the best minds in the world working to ensure Australia remains the most secure place to operate online,” he said in a statement on Sunday night.