Media Comms Giant Says Ransomware Hit Will Cost Millions

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Media communications giant Isentia is reporting that its coffers will be emptied of as much as $6 million ($8.5 million AUS) in the wake of a ransomware attack last week.

The company is a media-intelligence and data-analytics firm headquartered in Australia, with a presence throughout Southeast Asia. It’s known for its Mediaportal platform, which aggregates news about customers’ brands and is used by public relations and marketing teams globally. According to its website, customers include a variety of major clients, including the Australian government, Singtel, Samsung and the Walt Disney Corp.

Isentia said that remediation costs and lost business stemming from its systems being locked up by the attack will create a big hit to its bottom line for fiscal year 2021, with an estimate that this will total $7 million to $8.5 million AUS.

CEO Ed Harrison however said that “it is difficult to fully assess the impact on our FY21 pre-tax earnings” given that the estimate is based on an ongoing assessment of the incident – so the amount could be revised upward.

In a statement issued on Tuesday (obtained by Bitdefender), the firm also said that the attack happened as the company was transitioning to a new debt facility with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), meaning that the timeline for the drawdown of the CBA facility has been elongated – potentially also affecting its earnings results.

The ransomware attack happened on Oct. 27, after which the Mediaportal was downed, both for customers and staff. Workers resorted to preparing media reports manually, according to reports. The company and the Australian Cybersecurity Centre both quickly confirmed the attack.
 
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