The first hacks to happen this year affected the 2020 US presidential election on Thursday. A broadcast television search engine – TVEyes used by political campaigns to monitor opponents and track ads was hit with a ransomware attack. TVEyes’ core server and engineering workstations were targeted by a ransomware attack causing an outage for the service. TVEyes is rebuilding the system and expected to have TVEyes back online soon but the TVEyes do not have an exact ETA but it will be providing a constant update on the status.
It is still a mystery how much the ransom was and what type of ransomware it was. When the attack happens, hackers install malware that encrypts files. The malware locks people out of the devices until they pay for the decryption key. Throughout 2019, the attacks were common and businesses were hard hit. One of the prime attacks happened in 2017 causing more than $300 million in damages for the shipping giant Maersk.
The 2020 US presidential election is less than 10 months away and TVEyes is the latest victims of ransomware and the government officials are on high alert after the cyberattack. TVEyes has become an incredibly important tool for political campaigns as candidates are using it from running for president to local representatives.
The level of concern comes after the Russian hackers interfered with the presidential election in 2016. However, this cyberattack is not a direct hack on any political campaign but it gives hackers potential access to the company’s customer data. Though the company is a search engine tool for broadcast television, there is personal data involved which makes it a bigger concern as the election is nearing.