As you may have read, the Chicago Tribune Group, the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union Tribune (former Tribune properties) made headlines of their own recently when a significant virus infected their computer systems. It was a widespread cyberattack that impacted Tribune properties throughout the country, including the Baltimore Sun, Capital Gazette, Chicago Tribune and Hartford Courant, disabling business, finance, publishing and advertising computer systems and servers, while delaying weekend distribution of the LA Times.
The virus was the result of “Ryuk” ransomware which typically infects high-value targets that can’t afford major downtime. Sensitive files are encrypted, making it virtually impossible to reverse-engineer the encryption without the original encryption key—known only to the attackers. Their goal is to force those infected by the virus to pay a ransom in Bitcoins in order to make their systems operable once again.
At times like this, the best strategy is to ensure that all company-essential files also reside on a secure remote backup or standby storage facility that is “unattached” to the running systems. If your operation is protected with backup and standby systems which routinely store data from the day, hour or minute before a virus strikes, you can revert to that version once the servers are healthy again. And, it’s just as critical to have reliable business partners that also have backup capabilities, as well as readily available software engineers, data base administrators and support technicians that can help evaluate your systems and restore servers and computers to the operating conditions that existed prior to the infection.
Muller Martini’s SAM Business Applications team worked closely with the Tribune’s staff as well as other customer affiliates. Our backup systems in Allentown, Pennsylvania, along with some of the customer’s non-infected computer networks, provided the support essential to getting the SAM Planning, SAM tracks and WinLincs supported inserting systems back running. It is also extremely advantageous that the most current software, including Winlincs 7 and Winlincs 10, are already installed at the local inserter operating level, making equipment less prone to failure or to infection. Firewalls also played a significant role in minimizing further mayhem.
This was a serious malware attack, so serious that both the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are investigating what is the first known cyberattack on major newspaper printing operations of this magnitude. And although not all of these attacks can be prevented, trusting your systems to a valued and experienced partner will not only limit the damage, but reliably and expeditiously restore operations. Muller Martini provides knowledgeable, up-to-date support, the latest and most common software versions (including SAM, SAM Tracks, and WinLincs), as well as back-up standby capabilities so a previously working version can be uploaded onto new or cleaned servers. In addition, our support teams, including service technicians, are available by 24/7 via remote access, enabling us to connect into your network and perform diagnosis tests and restoration without leaving our offices or experiencing a delay in accessing our client’s sites.
Let us know how we can assist with our SAM Planning, SAM Tracks and WinLincs Software solutions and take advantage of our cyber security expertise.