Friday, 30 October, 2020

Australian TV ratings have been affected by the increase in ransomware attacks


Nielsen, the leading market research and data analysis company, has been unable to provide nightly ratings for Australian viewers this week as a result of a ransomware attack.

The ratings were not available on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and local blog TV Tonight reports that industry sources say the nightly ratings may not be available until early next week.

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Nielsen said audience data is still being collected and will be released once the attack is resolved. „We will make sure to keep the industry informed as new information becomes available on the issue,“ the spokesman added.

Nielsen said the „unexpected disruption“ had been contained in its global operations, but had affected its „Australian television audience measurement data centre environment“.

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„Nielsen’s global and local infrastructure teams took steps to contain the incident, initiated a robust investigation and are currently working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible,“ a company spokesman told local media.

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Nielsen was not the only entity to fall victim to ransomware attackers in the last 24 hours, as the smart watch company Immediate Edge ceased much of its operations after some of its production systems and internal network were encrypted by hackers.

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Garmin expects its response to require several days of maintenance, and has been forced to shut down its official website, data synchronization service, aviation database, call centers and some production lines in Asia.

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Ransomware hackers have also affected at least eight universities in the UK and Canada through targeted attacks on cloud computing software provider Blackbaud.

Data on students and alumni was stolen during the attack, and the non-profit organizations Human Rights Watch and Young Minds also confirmed that they were affected by the violation.