Cyberattack on Tribune Publishing Halts Printing of Newspapers in L.A.

Freshly printed copies of the San Francisco Chronicle move on an overhead conveyor belt November 8, 2009 in Fremont, California. One month after the San Francisco Chronicle saw its circulation drop 26 percent, the biggest decline of any major U.S. newspaper, the struggling paper became the first daily general newspaper …
Justin Sullivan/Getty

A cyberattack at a Los Angeles newspaper printing plant halted the delivery of a number of popular newspapers, Saturday, including the Los Angeles Times, and west coast editions of the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the virus impacted the “Saturday editions of the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and other papers to some subscribers,” as well as “the West Coast editions of the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.”

In an article, the Los Angeles Times declared, “Technology teams worked feverishly to quarantine the computer virus, but it spread through Tribune Publishing’s network and reinfected systems crucial to the news production and printing process.”

A source close to the situation reportedly believed “the cyberattack originated from outside the United States,” in an effort to “disable infrastructure.”

Others, however, claim the virus was ransomware with the intent of holding the plant hostage for money.

“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. “One company insider, who was not authorized to comment publicly, said the corrupted Tribune Publishing computer files contained the extension ‘.ryk.'”

In a statement, Tribune Publishing claimed, “the personal data of our subscribers, online users, and advertising clients has not been compromised. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank our readers and advertising partners for their patience as we investigate the situation.”

Los Angeles Times correspondent Matt Pearce discussed the virus on Twitter, describing the situation as a “total mess.”

“This is bad. Tribune Publishing got slammed with a virus (the rumor is ransomware) that has hobbled production, including at the L.A. Times and San Diego Union-Tribune, which still use TPub services. A *lot* of people didn’t get their papers today,” he expressed. “It’s a total mess… I’m not sure people understand how big a deal the Tribune Publishing cyberattack is.”

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington, or like his page at Facebook.



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