Australian TV Ratings Knocked Out in Ransomware Surge

Leading market research and data analytics firm Nielsen has been unable to provide overnight ratings this week for Australian TV viewers as a result of a ransomware attack.

The TV ratings were not available on Tuesday and Wednesday night, and local TV blog TV Tonight reports industry sources as saying the overnight ratings may not be available again until early next week.

Nielsen said viewing data is still being collected and will be published once the attack is resolved. “We will be sure to keep the industry informed as new information on the matter becomes available,” the spokesperson added.

Nielsen said the “unexpected disruption” had been contained in its global operations but it had affected its “Australian TV Audience Measurement data center environment.”

“Nielsen’s global and local infrastructure teams took the steps to contain the incident, launched a robust investigation and are currently working to resolve the issue as fast as possible,” a company spokesperson told local media.

Ransomware attackers strike 

Nielsen was not the only entity victimized by ransomware attackers over the past 24 hours, with smart-watch and wearables firm Garmin ceasing much of its operations after some of its production systems and internal network were encrypted by hackers.

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

Attack on cloud software provider compromises universities

Ransomware hackers have also impacted at least eight universities in the United Kingdom and Canada via attacks targeting cloud computing and education administration software provider Blackbaud.

Data relating to students and alumni was stolen during the attack, with non-profits Human Rights Watch and Young Minds also confirming they were affected by the breach.

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