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Australia’s busiest newsroom abandoned due to suspected cyber attack

"It's taken dozens of engineers across the country to bring our systems back to a point where we can bring the news back on air," said Stephen Willmott from Nine Technology

The biggest-ever cyber attack on an Australian media company has led to broadcaster Nine abandoning its Sydney newsroom and reverting to using whiteboards and moving production staff to other cities.

Nine was hit by the attack on Sunday, which knocked out the broadcaster’s Weekend Today show and some news bulletins. TV news production normally done in Sydney had to be moved to Melbourne.

Production staff were left using whiteboards after systems were taken off line by the attack.

Nine’s Melbourne news director, Hugh Nailon told Nine radio. “No emails, no internet. We had to take it back to TV in 1986 and do it manually.”

He added that news bulletins from Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth were also produced as they would in the 1980s.

“It’s taken dozens of engineers across the country to bring our systems back to a point where we can bring the news back on air,” said Stephen Willmott from Nine Technology.

“It’s going to be a long time before we’re back doing what we did as smoothly as we were,” added Willmott.

Experts have suggested a “state actor” could be behind the attack, as no ransom had been demanded by the attackers. Nine itself has suggested it could be an attack by either Russia or North Korea.