Iowa PBS cancels deposit campaign after ‘suspicious’ cyber activity | Iowa

JOHNSTON — An apparent cybersecurity breach has prompted Iowa PBS to cancel the remainder of its annual fall fundraiser.

A spokeswoman for Iowa PBS on Tuesday confirmed the issue, which has not affected the station’s ability to air programs.

“In the early hours of Sunday morning, Iowa PBS noticed suspicious activity on our network systems. We quickly brought in systems experts to help us identify the issue,” Iowa PBS spokeswoman Susan Ramsey said in a statement.

Ramsey said no further information on the issue — including the possible compromise of personal data — will be released at this time, citing state laws that say cybersecurity information is confidential.

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The incident prompted the Iowa PBS Friends Foundation, the station’s governing body, to cancel the remainder of the fall festival, which is the station’s pledge drive. This decision will likely mean a significant reduction in donations to the station; According to a current state analysis, around half of the station’s annual income comes from contributions and grants.

“While this will result in a significant loss of donor revenue over this period, we believe this is in the best interests of the Iowans we serve,” the statement said. “We’re more concerned with maintaining public trust and our relationship with our viewers.”

The broadcaster said its broadcasts, live streams and digital platforms remained operational.

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