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A radio station in Louisiana was reportedly “hijacked” this past Friday, October 17, 2014. The owner of the station, through his state broadcast association, is trying to spread the word. It’s going to cost tens of thousands of dollars to replace computers and software in his facilities.
He has three stations but, only one was “hijacked.” They use an older version of Windows which is no longer supported by Microsoft. He thought he was okay because he had a firewall through his server.
His employee went to the station at 5:00am on Friday to get everything up and running. At 5:45, the employee called the owner and said that they could not get any audio over the air…the owner went to the station and after five hours they were able to ascertain that the system had been taken over. They began to receive ransom e-mails asking for payment to get the station back on the air. The station was off for about seven hours. It appears to them that hackers may have come in through the operating system and took over the station's radio automation System and brought it down.
The MAB has no knowledge of issues with any software, nor are we making claims about the vulnerability of any software. We are simply passing along a concern that you should investigate for yourself.
UPDATE: Radio World has been reporting on this story. Click here.
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The DASH Conference was held in Detroit October 15-16...here's highlights from the two-day event:
The Federal Bureau of Communications (FCC) estimates that broadcast stations willing to relinquish spectrum can earn as much as a combined $45B in auction proceeds, including hundreds of millions for a single station in certain large markets. The packet of information going to each station provides the details, right down to the tax implications. Perhaps of the greatest importance are estimates of what a station stands to make on a market-by-market basis. It makes a strong pitch for stations that wish to participate while staying in business to consider channel sharing or moving to the VHF band. And it even includes an IRS contribution to the packet on tax implications.
The estimates were prepared by FCC staff, but the presentation was done by Greenhill & Co. LLC.
The packet and further information are available here.
Michigan-based Jacobs Media has been selected by the MAB to provide innovative and important services to its members that center on helping radio and television stations improve their digital, social media, and mobile strategies. For the past thirty years, Jacobs Media has consulted a wide variety of broadcasters across North America in these areas. They have a team of experts that will be on call to provide advice at no charge to MAB members.
Adding these services to those already offered by the MAB came directly from an MAB members research study conducted in 2012-13 that identified the need for reliable, unvarnished information about digital strategies, social media, and the mobile opportunity.