Parliament, Channel Nine Hit By “Worst” Cyberattack In History
The Nine Network has been the target of the worst cyber attack on a media company in Australian history, with news production systems including internet and email down for more than 24 hours.
The system outage hit Channel Nine’s broadcast systems early Sunday morning and persisted until Monday, causing major disruptions to live broadcasting.
Nine Melbourne’s director of news Hugh Nailon told 3AW the newsroom was forced to produce the news like it was the 1980s.
“Basically the Ferrari wouldn’t start and we had to fire up the Datsun 180b! No emails, no internet,” he told Ross and Russel.
“We had to take it back to TV in 1986 and do it manually.”
The origin of the cyberattack still remains unknown, however a top security expert told Nine.com.au a “state actor” was likely the culprit.
Not even sabotage by international hackers can keep us from delivering the latest news, sport and weather to you this morning on Channel 9. Tune into Today, NOW. #9Today @alextcullen pic.twitter.com/OhosEuAybk
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) March 28, 2021
Nine was forced to revert to pre-recorded programming during the attack and a number of scheduled shows such as Weekend Today and Sunday Sport failed to air.
Despite the cyberattack, Nine still won the ratings for Sunday night.
Parliament House was also the victim of a ransomware hack over the weekend, with a technical disruption causing MPs and senators to lose email access for hours.
A spokesperson told The Guardian that some services on Parliament-issued smartphones and tablets were disrupted.
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.