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Ransomware Attack Disrupts Printing System, German Regional Newspaper Forced To Suspend Print Edition

The German local newspaper Heilbronn Reichstag was forced to suspend the print edition due to a ransomware attack.

The attack affected the newspaper's parent company, Stimme Mediengruppe Media Group, and made the digital editions of other newspapers, including its Echo, inaccessible.

Stimme Mediengruppe also served as the distributor of the local newspaper, during which the distribution of other newspapers was not possible.


Ransomeware

The German newspaper Heilbronn Stimme was forced to publish its latest issue in electronic form after a ransomware attack on Friday (October 14) crippled its printing systems, even though they trying best to do data disaster recovery.

On Saturday, the paper had published a six-page "emergency" edition, and all planned obituaries were moved to the official website. And over the weekend, phone and email communications at the newspaper never came back online.

The regional publication, which has a circulation of about 75,000 copies, has temporarily removed its paywall model from its official website due to printing issues. The newspaper's website receives about 2 million monthly visits.

The newspaper's editor-in-chief, Uwe Ralf Heer, said the attack affected the entire Stimme Mediengruppe media group, including its Pressedruck, Echo and RegioMail companies.

The Echo, with a circulation of 254,000 copies, was affected by the cyber attack, and even the electronic version of the website had problems. But its online news portal, Echo24.de, is still up and running.

Heer pointed out that the attack was carried out by a well-known cybercriminal group. The gang encrypted its systems late Friday and left a ransom note. But as of last Saturday afternoon, the other party has not given a specific ransom amount.

Employees Start Working from Home

According to the newspaper's notice, the editor of the newspaper started working from home using a personal computer and received a new email address issued by the newspaper.

The media group is working with police in hopes of finding a solution to the technical issue as soon as possible, while working to pinpoint the culprit.

At the request of German Interior Minister Thomas Strobl, cybersecurity experts from the state of Baden-W├╝rttemberg have also started to assist with the repair.

"We are formally cooperating with police, data protection and external experts in the hope of returning operations to normal levels as soon as possible," the notice reads.

"But at the moment, we cannot predict whether newspaper deliveries will resume within a week."

Heilbronn Reich will continue to print the "emergency" edition of the newspaper through a third party from Karlsruhe until the printing system returns to normal.

As the media group is itself a publisher, other major newspapers such as the S├╝ddeutsche Zeitung and Stuttgarter Zeitung in the Heilbronn region (with a circulation of 350,000 copies) will also be suspended, until further notice.

Caber assaults are not treatable in a single day. To stay clear of damage from cyberattacks, a lasting dedication to data security is called for. Long-term information backup is needed for good information safety and security. Traditional data backup services are becoming more unsuitable for satisfying business goals as modern businesses and also the volume of firm data expand. Consequently, numerous services will pick for online computer systems to backup their information, such as VMware Backup or Hyper-V Back-up.

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