Foreign Cyber Attack Hits NY Times, NY Daily News, Chicago Tribune & More

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A cyber-attack which seems to have originated from outside of the US has targeted Tribune Publishing, impacting several major US media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and several other major newspapers that operate on a shared production platform. The attack also caused distribution delays for The Wall Street Journal, as well as two of Trump’s biggest critics and perhaps the papers he hates most in the world, The New York Times and the New York Daily News. Incidentally, all of which are printed at the Los Angeles Times’ Olympic printing plant in downtown Los Angeles.

This is not the first time something like this has happened.

And just two months ago, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) suggested that the US is still extremely vulnerable to cyber-attacks of this kind.

Now, obviously we aren’t suggesting that this attack on Saturday originated in China — we have not yet heard where it is coming from — but it’s certain that we are still ill-prepared, and if they can succeed in something of this magnitude today, then they could definitely pull off something on a larger scale, like the global attacks one year ago.

An anonymous source at The Times said today:

‘We believe the intention of the attack was to disable infrastructure, more specifically servers, as opposed to looking to steal information.’

Marisa Kollias, spokeswoman for Tribune Publishing would not comment on the specifics of the disruptions to publishing today but she did say that, “every market across the company was impacted.”

It still remains to be seen who is responsible or what they were after — whether or not subscribers should be worried that their personal information was stolen, etc… but one expert said that “holidays are a well-known time for mischief by digital troublemakers because organizations are more thinly staffed.”

Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, a nonprofit public interest research group, had this to say about the attacks:

‘Usually when someone tries to disrupt a significant digital resource like a newspaper, you’re looking at an experienced and sophisticated hacker. Malware has, over time, become more sophisticated and coordinated, involving more planning by networks of hackers who infiltrate a system over time.

‘Modern malware is all about the long game. It’s serious attacks, not small stuff anymore. When people think of malware, the impression may be, “It’s a little program that runs on my computer.”

‘Today, malware can root into the deepest systems and disrupt very significant aspects of those systems.’

The Times said in a statement:

‘We apologize to our customers for this inconvenience. Thank you for your patience and support as we respond to this ongoing matter.’

Featured image via Pixabay.