Various American media were attacked with malware, delaying the distribution of their newspapers
Cybersecurity and ethical hacking specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security report that a malware-based attack, originating outside the United States, affected some of the country’s major printed media, delaying the distribution of the physical samples of some journals.
The first researches points to a compromised computer network in Tribune Publishing connected to the production and printing process of some of the most important newspapers in the United States. At first it was thought that the incident had been caused by technical problems, although later investigations revealed that this was caused by a malware infection.
“What we thought was a server outage was actually a malware attack, apparently originated abroad, which disrupted the organization’s computer systems and delayed the distribution of printed copies of Los Angeles Times, among some other newspapers in the country,”reported the organization.
“The cybersecurity team worked immediately to quarantine the malware, but it spread throughout the Tribune Publishing network, infecting crucial systems in the newspaper printing process. Some of the most important newspapers in the country have been affected because of the use of a shared production platform.”
According to reports, the delivery of Saturday physical samples of Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union Tribune was delayed due to this cyberattack. In addition, some delays in the distribution of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal editions were reported in some areas of the United States’ West Coast.
It is not yet possible to calculate the approximate number of subscribers affected during the cyberattack, although it is known that most of the Los Angeles Times readers received their physical copies several hours late.
“Our cybersecurity teams believe that the aim of this attack was to disable our infrastructure, not information theft,” an anonymous source declared in an interview. The informant did not offer any further technical details or information about the evidence collected by the company.
Later, some of the Los Angeles Times officials stated that it is still too early to claim or deny that the attack was originated by a foreign government or organization.
On the other hand, the U.S. government, through the Department of Homeland Security, stated: “We are aware of reports of a possible cyberattack on various American media, and we are working with our partners in the printed media industry to fully understand and solve the situation,” said Katie Waldman, spokesperson for the Department.