Major IT virus hits newspaper printing in the States

Printing and delivery processes of major US newspapers have been shaken due to a recent computer virus affecting shared IT infrastructures, the Guardian online reports.

Among the leading newspapers caught up in the cyber-attack were the Baltimore Sun, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune.

According to reports in the LA Times, investigations conclude that the intrusion, which took place on Saturday 29th December, began overseas. Following the hack, the distribution of Saturday editions of the Sun, Tribune and Times were delayed, along with other newspapers based in LA which use the same production service as the Los Angeles Times.

The malware was initially detected on the Friday prior to the disruption, according to Tribune Publishing which owns papers including the Orlando Sentinel, New York Daily News, the Chigago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun.

On the other side of the States, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times were also impacted, as they too use the production platform used by the LA Times.

Speaking on behalf of Tribune Publishing, Marisa Kollias explained that a virus ran through the back-of-office platforms that are relied upon to publish and put together newspapers across the company’s portfolio.

Kollias said:

“There is no evidence that customer credit card information or personally identifiable information has been compromised.”

The disruption meant that most subscribers to the San Diego Union-Tribune were left without their Saturday edition of the newspaper, with the virus hitting its victims’ business systems and hamstringing print and publication capacity.

Speaking on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security, Katie Waldman said:

“We are aware of reports of a potential cyber incident affecting several news outlets, and are working with our government and industry partners to better understand the situation.”

According to USA Today, Los Angeles Times spokeswoman, Hillary Manning, explained that the newspaper has been putting all its efforts into correcting the issues involved in the incident.

 


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