Cyber-attack disrupts printing of major United States newspapers

Cyberattack Halts Distribution of Major U.S. Newspapers

"We believe the intention of the attack was to disable infrastructure, more specifically servers, as opposed to looking to steal information", the source said, adding the attacker was a "foreign entity".

No other details about the origin of the attack were immediately available, including the motive.

A cyberattack which appeared to originate from overseas disrupted the publication and distribution of numerous newspapers in the United States, papers hit by the malware said.

"Several individuals with knowledge of the Tribune situation said the attack appeared to be in the form of "Ryuk" ransomware", reported the Los Angeles Times. Director of Distribution Joe Robidoux said print subscribers should get Saturday's paper delivered with Sunday's edition.

In a note posted on the Union-Tribune's website, Light described a computer virus that affected the computer systems for Tribune Publishing, the media company that used to own the Union-Tribune and now owns multiple newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and the Orlando Sentinel.

Tribune Publishing spokeswoman Marisa Kollias said the virus hurt back-office systems used to publish and produce "newspapers across our properties".

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The attack seemed to have begun late Thursday night and by Friday had spread to crucial areas needed to publish the paper.

The virus caused production problems at the California Times printing plant in downtown Los Angeles, where the Times is printed.

The virus "hobbled our ability to publish", Union-Tribune editor and publisher Jeff Light said in a Saturday morning letter to readers. Under an ongoing transition agreement, Tribune Publishing, formerly known as Tronc, continues to print the two West Coast newspapers and provide other essential services.

The Ventura County Star, owned by Gannett Co.

The virus affected Tribune Publishing papers across the country. The systems are shared by the Times and Union-Tribune. "It's serious attacks, not small stuff anymore".

Today, "malware can root into the deepest systems and disrupt very significant aspects of those systems".

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