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Lake Geneva radio station, 96.1 FM hacked, airing playlist until it can resolve issue

Lake Geneva radio station, 96.1 FM hacked, airing playlist until it can resolve issue

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A Lake Geneva radio station temporarily went off the air after being the victim of a ransomware attack.

WLKG 96.1 FM, which is operated by CTJ Communications, temporarily went off the air about 2:32 a.m., July 30 after the station’s internal network was hacked, and all the files that operate the station were encrypted.

Nancy Douglass, general manager for CTJ Communications/WLKG FM, said she came into the station early Friday morning to address the issue.

“When I got here, the three mainframe computers had a pop-up message on them saying all the files have been encrypted,” Douglass said. “It was like skull and crossbones. It’s like what you would see in the movies.”

Douglass said she then contacted the station’s software vendor and Lake Geneva Police Department regarding the incident. She said the FBI currently is investigating the case.

The station is currently airing a music playlist until it is able to resume with its regular programming.

Douglass said regular programming will not be able to resume until all the files are decrypted and is not certain when that will happen.

The station posted the information regarding the hack on its Facebook page and website to warn other companies that the same could happen to them.

“You can have the best security and it doesn’t matter,” Douglass said. “They are always one step ahead of security. Once they find an in, they can get in and they can do it within minutes, and that’s what happened.”

Douglass said the community has been understanding through the process.

“Our listeners have been wonderful. Our clients have been wonderful,” Douglass said. “This is just completely out of our hands, just like a natural disaster.”


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