Current affairs program Weekend Today was not broadcast and staff at the company were told to work from home, with production systems and email down, while the website news.com.au was also offline for a period of time. The network managed to get back on the air later that day but remained heavily disrupted.
Channel 9 entertainment editor Richard Wilkins tweeted the below screengrab while the tech issues were in full flow:
— Richard Wilkins (@RichardWilkins) March 27, 2021
According to Melbourne-based paper The Age, the attack was considered to be a form of ransomware likely created by a state-based actor, but at the time of printing no requests for ransom had been confirmed.
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It was also reported on Sunday that the Australia Parliament was investigating a separate cyberattack incident that had affected government-issued smartphones and tablets. It is not clear if the incidents are linked.
Channel 9 staff were bemused by the incident, with several tweeting over the weekend that they were in the dark as to what was going on.
The Today Show, the network’s popular morning program, aired on Monday despite the ongoing disruption. Senior producer Matthew Russell tweeted that it was a “mammoth task” to get on air:
— Matthew Russell (@matty_russell) March 28, 2021
News and sports presenter Alex Cullen added that “Despite the cyber attack, the Today Show must go on”:
— Alex Cullen (@alextcullen) March 28, 2021