Channel 9 is facing an unprecedented technical challenged today which has already forced all LIVE programming from Sydney off the air
ADDITIONAL UPDATE: Nine have confirmed our reporting on the cyber-attack, and updated all staff and media as follows:
“We wish to inform you there has been a cyber-attack on our systems which has disrupted live broadcasts out of Nine Sydney (1 Denison).
As a result, we were unable to get Weekend Today to air this morning however, have put several contingencies in place to ensure the NRL and our 6pm bulletins will proceed.
Our IT teams are working around the clock to fully restore our systems which have primarily affected our Broadcast and Corporate business units. Publishing and Radio systems continue to be operational.
While our IT teams work through this issue, we ask that all employees, in all markets, work from home until further notice.“
UPDATE: Nine’s Alicia Loxley updated Melbourne viewers with this in a News break this afternoon:
“Cyber hackers have targeted Channel Nine in a massive ransomware attack bringing down its network Australia-wide. No-one has claimed responsibility for the bug but IT experts are working to bring systems back on-line.”
A cyber attack originating in Russia is being blamed for Nine’s technical woes which has seen all LIVE programming originating out of Sydney unable to broadcast.
As we reported earlier, Weekend Today was the first casualty with replacement programs put to air instead.
The NRL Sunday Footy Show was replaced with the Melbourne edition. Melbourne is one of the only cities within the Nine Network still able to broadcast due to the fact their system is not entirely automated.
When Channel 9 Sydney moved into its new facility in North Sydney, automation was built into the system, meaning nothing can go to air without a command from a computer.
Systems affected by the attack include various production software that help run the control rooms for live in-house broadcasts such as News and The Today Show.
As Melbourne can bypass these processes they were able to run their edition of the Footy Show and will be able to broadcast the 6pm News tonight. Although around 15 people who ran the control room and studio were made redundant a few weeks ago, which will make tonight’s broadcast difficult.
At this stage the network is still trying to provide localised news bulletins in all other states but that will be harder as they all rely on automation. The back-up plan is to use Melbourne to broadcast a national news bulletin tonight. If localised bulletins are produced there will be an impact on the production of those bulletins including a lack of supers.
Pre-recorded programs are not affected by the attack as Nine’s presentation is outsourced to another company called NPC Media, which also provides the transmission presentation for Seven, SCA and NBN.
Security experts have told the network the attack is likely from Russia due to the sophistication of the hack.
Those experts believe the attack has been done in order to stop Monday’s episode of Under Investigation from going to air, due to its focus on Russia this week.
This is how the network is selling the episode:
Never before has a television broadcast brought together so many major players to expose Vladimir Putin’s deadly campaign of chemical assassination, being waged against his enemies on the streets of western countries. Under Investigation reveals Russia’s ongoing development of banned poisons and nerve agents in secret labs – toxins so deadly a single teaspoon could kill thousands.
We can confirm the episode has already been shot and the attack will not stop the airing of the episode.
Sources also tell TV Blackbox there have been no demands for money.
Contingency plans have already been sorted out for tomorrow’s edition of the TODAY show. The presenters will be in Sydney but the program will be switched out of the Melbourne control room at Docklands.
*More to come