Sinclair Hit by Ransomware Attack

Sinclair Broadcast Group
(Image credit: Sinclair)

HUNT VALLEY, MD—Sinclair Broadcast Group was hit by a ransomware attacking that affected local TV programming and operations  over the weekend. 

In a statement released this morning, the Baltimore-based station group, one of the largest in the nation with 184 stations in 84 markets, said that it has identified the attack on Saturday, Oct. 16 and on Sunday, it identified that certain servers and workstations in its environment were encrypted with ransomware, and that certain office and operational networks were disrupted. Data also was taken from Sinclair which is working to determine what information the data contained.

“Promptly upon detection of the security event, senior management was notified, and the Company implemented its incident response plan, took measures to contain the incident, and launched an investigation. Legal counsel, a cybersecurity forensic firm, and other incident response professionals were engaged. The Company also notified law enforcement and other governmental agencies. The forensic investigation remains ongoing.

“While the Company is focused on actively managing this security event, the event has caused—and may continue to cause—disruption to parts of the Company’s business, including certain aspects of its provision of local advertisements by its local broadcast stations on behalf of its customers. The Company is working diligently to restore operations quickly and securely.

“As the Company is in the early stages of its investigation and assessment of the security event, the Company cannot determine at this time whether or not such an event will have a material impact on its business, operations or financial results.

“As the Company conducts its investigation, it will look for opportunities to enhance its existing security measures.”

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (, the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.