Cyber attack hits delivery of major US newspapers: Report

The attack led to distribution delays in the Saturday edition of The Times, Tribune, Sun and other newspapers that share a production platform in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The attack led to distribution delays in the Saturday edition of The Times, Tribune, Sun and other newspapers that share a production platform in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES • A malware attack appearing to have originated outside the United States delayed the hard-copy distribution of several major newspapers, according to a report.

The Los Aangeles Times said last Saturday the attack, which was first assumed to have been a server disruption, hit a computer network at Tribune Publishing, which is connected to the production and printing process of multiple newspapers.

As a result, the delivery of the Saturday editions of the LA Times and San Diego Union Tribune were delayed. It also hit the distribution of the west coast editions of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, which are printed at the LA Times' printing plant.

The report said it could not provide firm numbers on how many subscribers were impacted but a majority of LA Times customers received their papers Saturday morning, albeit several hours late.

"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 with knowledge of the situation as saying.

The paper cited officials as saying it was too soon to know whether it was carried out by state or non-state actors.

"We are aware of reports of a potential cyber incident effecting several news outlets, and are working with our government and industry partners to better understand the situation," the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2018, with the headline 'Cyber attack hits delivery of major US newspapers: Report'. Print Edition | Subscribe