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Regular programming of KHSU interrupted due to ransomware attack


KHSU radio station, owned by the Humboldt State University, has suffered from a ransomware attack. The Humboldt State University or HSU or the Humboldt State, also sometimes referred as Humboldt, is public university in the Arcata city of California.


The recent computer problems faced by KHSU are due to a ransomware attack. The ransomware infection incident has disabled all storage servers and most programming systems of the station, according to the Humboldt State University. As per a press release, KHSU has confirmed that all the servers compromised in this attack did not contain any kind of sensitive information.


A spokesperson of the Humboldt State University tells the 'North Coast Journal' that the university still does not know whether this cyber attack on the KHSU radio station was result of targeted ransom attack or a broader phishing effort or act of sabotage possibly carried out by somebody upset with university's decision to remove vast majority of station's staff as well as local programming in Apr. 2019.


Ransomware is a type of extortion which blocks access to the files, and then threatens to reveal the data unless the ransom amount is paid. The Humboldt State University has not received any specific ransom demand, and also is still not aware who is responsible for this attack.


KHSU has discovered this incident when they started facing computer problems on Jul. 1, 2019. The cyber attack has disrupted the regular programming of KHSU radio station. Humboldt State University said that this cyber attack has exploited vulnerability in the KHSU's system.


The press release of the university notes that once the attack was discovered, because KHSU is federally licensed facility, this incident was reported by KHSU to Federal Communications Commission and federal law enforcement.


KHSU is working on rebuilding their programming as well as improving security of their radio station. Meanwhile, the HSU is working with their partners in Chicago so as to remedy this situation.


"The University is grateful to its partners who are assisting the station. Capital Public Radio at CSU Sacramento is helping to restore KSHU programming and North State Public Radio at CSU Chico is airing its programming on KHSU," the media advisory read as reported by the North Coast Journal.


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