Ransomware hits TV & radio news monitoring service TVEyes

Newsrooms, political campaigns, and PR agencies panic as they lose access to one of their crucial media monitoring tools.

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A ransomware infection has brought down TVEyes, a company that manages a popular platform for monitoring TV and radio news broadcasts, broadly used by newsrooms and PR agencies across the globe.

TVEyes CEO David Ives told ZDNet the ransomware attack took place after midnight on Thursday, January 30.

The ransomware hit core server & engineering workstations inside TVEyes' network, primarily in the US, but also some systems located abroad.

Ives told ZDNet they have not yet identified the ransomware strain that infected the company's network, but they have already began recovery efforts.

The TVEyes CEO says they don't intend to pay the ransom demand and are currently restoring from backups and rebuilding impacted infrastructure.

In the meantime, the company's main product, the TVEyes Media Monitoring Suite (MMS), has been down for the past two days, sources at various public relations (PR) agencies have told ZDNet.

The TVEyes platform tracks TV and radio broadcasts from US (national and all 210 smaller markets) and major international media outlets. MMS allows users to search past broadcasts for keywords and set up email alerts for new occurances.

It is a valuable tool for many reporters, PR personnel, and political campaigns.

Ives said there's no ETA for when the TVEyes platform will restore service, but they are working to get the service back up as soon as possible.

"These sorts of third-party service providers are prime targets for ransomware attackers who know the services are uniquely vulnerable given they have customers and clients who rely on them and trust them with their data," Paul Martini, CEO of cloud security company iboss, told ZDNet.

"With a service like this, it's not just about preventing access to the platform, but also a question of what sort of customer data has been compromised in the attack," Martini added, echoing the fears expressed by some PR agents who notified ZDNet about the outage.

Many of the platform's users are now worried that their personal and financial information might have been stolen by hackers before encrypting their files.