American newspapers hit by cyber attacks

According to the Los Angeles Times a server outage was identified last weekend as a malware attack on the computer systems of the Tribune Publishing’s network, and that it apparently “originated from outside the United States”, with the printing and distribution of major US newspapers being widely disrupted by the cyber attacks.

The cyber attacks caused severe delivery and printing disruptions to the Los Angeles Times and other American newspapers, including the west coast editions of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, which are printed at the LA Times’ Olympic printing plant in downtown Los Angeles.

“Technology teams worked feverishly to quarantine the computer virus, but it spread through Tribune Publishing’s network and reinfected systems crucial to the news production and printing process,” said the Los Angeles Times.

“Multiple newspapers around the country were affected because they share a production platform, we believe the intention of the attack was to disable infrastructure, more specifically servers, as opposed to looking to steal information,” the LA Times quoted a source as saying.

The source would not detail what evidence led the company to believe the breach came from overseas.

Tribune Publishing released a statement saying: “The personal data of our subscribers, online users, and advertising clients has not been compromised. We apologise for any inconvenience and thank our readers and advertising partners for their patience as we investigate the situation”.

Previous cyber attacks

In 2016, journalist, Matthew Keys, was sentenced to two years in prison, after he was convicted of helping the Anonymous hacking collective gain access to Tribune Media’s computer systems .

Prior to this, a cyber attack by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), the Syrian hacking collective, compromised the websites of a number of Western media companies, as well as a number of other targets in the United Kingdom.

The SEA hack affected the websites of the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, OK! magazine and the Evening Standard.