Cyber-attack disrupts printing of major USA newspapers

A cyclist rides on the sidewalk past the Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles. The paper's Saturday deliveries were affected by an interference with Tribune Publishing's print production systems

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The source of the attacks was a "foreign entity", according to a report in The Los Angeles Times.

"We believe the intention of the attack was to disable infrastructure, more specifically servers, as opposed to looking to steal information", an anonymous source with knowledge of the attack told the LA Times.

This has caused delayed and incomplete printing of the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune and other publications which are printed at our facility.

In brief: A number of major U.S. newspapers had their printing and delivery processes disrupted yesterday after they were hit with a cyberattack. When some L.A. Times readers called to inquire about their print edition, the customer service phone lines were on the fritz.

"There is no evidence that customer credit card information or personally identifiable information has been compromised", Kollias said. Teams from both companies were making progress against the virus, but weren't able to fix it before the newspapers went to print.

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The Sun Sentinel's Saturday edition was delivered Sunday because of the delays.

"This issue has affected the timeliness and in some cases, the completeness of our printed newspaper", Tribune Publishing spokesperson Marisa Kollias said in a statement. Distribution was also affected of other newspapers, including The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, that use the same printing presses in some markets as Tribune Publishing. Tribune Publishing sold The Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune to Los Angeles biotech billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong in June, but the companies continue to share various systems, including software.

The virus also affected the paper's digital replica online. "We are working diligently to resolve this matter". At The Baltimore Sun, for example, the usual comics and puzzles were not included in Saturday's print edition, the paper tweeted. The papers had previously been part of Tronc, the previous name of Tribune Publishing.

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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