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LA Times, Tribune Publishing Hit by Cyberattack Disrupting Paper Delivery

TheWrap logo TheWrap 2018-12-30 Thom Geier
a group of people standing in front of a building: Los Angeles Times building © TheWrap Los Angeles Times building

A malware attack struck the Los Angeles Times and Tribune Publishing on Friday, disrupting the distribution of the Saturday edition of papers across the country.

Tribune Publishing first detected the "malware" in its computer systems on Friday that "impacted some back-office systems which are primarily used to publish and produce newspapers across our properties," a rep for Tribune Publishing told TheWrap Sunday.

Tribune promptly secured the environment and created "workarounds to ensure we could print our newspapers," the spokesperson continued, adding that there was "no evidence that customer credit card information or personally identifiable information has been compromised."

The company has brought in "external expert resources" to contain the malware and "remediate any lingering issues." Websites and mobile applications however, have not been impacted.

The cyberattack, which one unnamed inside source told the Times is believed to have originated outside the U.S., also affected the release of the West Coast editions of the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, which are printed at the L.A. Times' printing plant in downtown L.A.

Websites for the papers were not affected by the attack, the Tribune Publishing rep said. Tribune papers include the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant and the New York Daily News.

Jeff Light, editor and publisher of the San Diego Union-Tribune — which was sold along with the L.A. Times to biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong last June but still uses Tribune computer and printing systems — said that the outage "hobbled our ability to publish" and promised delivery of the Saturday paper with Sunday edition.

The rep for Tribune Publishing offered no further details about suspicions of foreign involvement in the attack on its computer systems, but said that the case had been reported to the FBI.

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