Newspapers report suspected malware attack

Staffers at some of America's best-known newspapers are wondering whether their systems were the victim of a...

Posted: Dec 31, 2018 6:51 AM
Updated: Dec 31, 2018 6:51 AM

Staffers at some of America's best-known newspapers are wondering whether their systems were the victim of a foreign cyberattack.

Several papers, including the Los Angeles Times and The San Diego Union-Tribune, suffered printing and distribution delays as a result of the incident.

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal offenses

Digital crime

Media industry

Newspapers

Publishing industry

Technology

Computer science and information technology

Digital security

Malware

Software and applications

Some reporters chuckled at the irony of a digital bug interrupting printed papers. But there is also real concern about the effectiveness of the attack.

Tribune Publishing said "malware" was detected on its servers Friday. The Union-Tribune, which also called it a "virus," said most subscribers were left without a Saturday morning paper as a result.

The incident affected other newspapers in other ways. At The Baltimore Sun, for example, the usual comics and puzzles were not included in Saturday's print edition, the paper tweeted.

In Southern California, distribution of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal was also delayed, because all of the papers rely on the same back-end printing presses.

The L.A. Times, citing a "source with knowledge of the situation," said Saturday that the cyberattack "appears to have originated from outside the United States."

A spokeswoman for Tribune Publishing said she could not confirm that.

And staffers at some of the affected papers said they haven't received much information from management about the extent of the cyberattack.

An internal memo from Tribune CEO Justin Dearborn on Saturday referenced "malware" and said "we are making progress with this issue."

Papers using Tribune software were affected. The L.A. Times and the Union-Tribune are no longer owned by Tribune, previously known as Tronc. But the papers continue to use some of Tribune's systems.

The virus "hobbled our ability to publish," Union-Tribune editor and publisher Jeff Light said in a Saturday morning letter to readers.

According to Dearborn's memo and the company's statement, workers had to create "workarounds" to get the Saturday editions printed.

"There is no evidence that customer credit card information or personally identifiable information has been compromised," Dearborn wrote.

But some important back-office systems were interrupted. When some L.A. Times readers called to inquire about their print edition, the customer service phone lines were on the fritz.

And staffers at two papers using Tribune software told CNN Business that the time card system for keeping track of working hours was offline for some time.

The websites of the affected papers were never impacted, however.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel's online story about the virus started off by saying: "We are still here."

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 41°
Albert Lea
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 41°
Austin
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 46°
Charles City
Few Clouds
45° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 39°
Rochester
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 36°
Our big warm up starts today with sunny skies
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

TIC cross country

Image

Lourdes narrowly escapes Cotter, advances to state

Image

Austin holds off Lourdes in Section 1A title match

Image

Sportsmanship at its finest

Image

Kavars Trial: Day Three

Image

Infant and pregnancy loss awareness

Image

Kavars takes the stand in animal neglect case

Image

Logan's law is working

Image

MEA Break & college visits

Image

Nelson's Winter Forecast Outlook 2019-2020

Community Events