Published: Mon, December 31, 2018
Markets | By Jeffery Armstrong

Cyberattack From Abroad Hits Newspaper Distribution Across US

Cyberattack From Abroad Hits Newspaper Distribution Across US

The computer virus caused problems for newspapers connected to Tribune Publishing, the company confirmed this weekend, compromising software crucial to the news production and printing process.

Marisa Kollias, spokesperson for Tribune Publishing, wrote in a statement to NPR's David Folkenflik: "On Friday, some of the print production systems at Tribune Publishing were interfered with, causing a delay in our production schedule".

A number of major U.S. newspapers - including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal and New York Times - have been hit by a cyberattack that is said to originate from another country.

The source gave no other details about the origin of the attack or the motive, describing the attacker only as a "foreign entity", The Times reported.

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The company also said it is "making progress" to resolve publishing issues, and has reported the attack to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The newspaper reported in its online edition at 4:55 p.m. that the cyberattack "appears to have originated from outside the United States".

However, Tribune Publishing's website was not affected and no customer information was compromised, according to the statement issued by the company on Saturday.

The paper's main Twitter account has been responding to individual complaints with phrases like, "We've had a ton of delivery problems today which is why our lines are busy" and "You're right!"

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Affected Saturday were those owned by the Tribune Publishing and other publications printed at its plants.

New York Times and Palm Beach Post readers in South Florida also failed to receive their Saturday editions because the Sun-Sentinel also prints those newspapers.

The Times said that the glitch was detected Friday but technology teams were unable to fix the problem before press time. The papers had previously been part of Tronc, the previous name of Tribune Publishing.

Light said the digital replica of the paper was also affected.

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Malware has, over time, become more sophisticated and coordinated, involving more planning by networks of hackers who infiltrate a system over time, she said.

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