KQED in San Francisco is slowly clawing its way back to the 21st century after a ransomware attack forced the public broadcaster to go low-tech and rely less on internet connectivity.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the station is rebuilding the systems it lost and strengthening network security to prevent the virus from spreading.
Meanwhile, “to make sure everyone sees a copy of the script for an upcoming broadcast, reporters have to plug one of the still-working computers into an old ink-jet printer, print out copies of the script and drop one off in a box at the center of the newsroom, where everyone can find it,” according to the Chronicle. Segments are being timed with stopwatches.
KQED initially cut almost all of its connections to the internet to contain the infection. Many devices have been offline since the June 15 attack.
“It’s like we’ve been bombed back to 20 years ago, technology-wise,” Queena Kim, a senior editor, told the Chronicle. “You rely on technology for so many things, so when it doesn’t work, everything takes three to five times longer just to do the same job.”
And if it can happen to KQED, it can happen to anybody.