On his first day as CEO of the Nine Network, Mike Sneesby has faced an unprecedented IT disaster following a cyber attack by parties unknown.
As IT teams worked overtime, Nine is confident it has now isolated the attacker and the specific destructive activity that was initiated early on Sunday.
Nine’s corporate network has since been disconnected from the internet, and all internal networks separated from one another as a precaution.
Sneesby has praised staff for their action in addressing the breakdown.
“The cyber-attack we experienced over the weekend was significant in scale with high potential to disrupt our business however, your readiness for such an event and your actions in responding have allowed us to mitigate the immediate impact to our business and set us up to manage the clean-up in a structured manner,” Sneesby said in a note to staff.
“The fast response from 9Technology in the early hours of Sunday morning was quickly followed by a coordinated operational response that kept our live broadcast capability up and running and minimised impacts to our broader business.
“Over the last 48 hours, I’ve seen countless cases of leadership, ingenuity and resilience as we pivoted quickly in key areas of our business to operate around current limitations.
“A number of our core systems remain offline as we work to carefully return services.”
While Nine’s main Phoenix system remains impacted a Nine intranet is available for television, publishing and corporate employees as they work remotely.
Chief Information & Technology Officer, Damian Cronan said isolating internal networks has been an effective strategy however, it will have a significant impact on business-as-usual.
“Looking ahead, now that we are in a state of containment, we are working on recovering the most critical aspects of service delivery (on-air and print operations, revenue-driven services, and other critical business services). From today, our technology teams are focusing on these priorities,” he said.
“We will be carefully assessing how we bring back controlled levels of connectivity into the network with an emphasis on service restoration, and I want to be clear it will take time before all our systems are back up and running.
“It will challenge us and test our capabilities and creativity in problem solving but I can’t think of a more capable team than 9Technology to respond and meet this challenge.”