Published: Mon, December 31, 2018
Money | By Bruce West

Suspected Malware Attack Causes L.A. Times Newspaper Delivery Interruptions

Suspected Malware Attack Causes L.A. Times Newspaper Delivery Interruptions

A malware attack that appears to have originated outside the United States delayed the hardcopy distribution of several major newspapers, according to a report.

Tribune Publishing Co. newspapers across the country were also affected, including The Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Annapolis Capital-Gazette, Hartford Courant, New York Daily News, Orlando Sentinel and Fort Lauderdale Sun- Sentinel.

The source gave no other details about the origin of the attack or the motive, describing the attacker only as a "foreign entity", The Times reported.

"A disruption to our print production systems caused delays in the delivery of some of our newspapers Saturday", the statement read.

The Tribune Publishing spokeswoman also said "there is no evidence that customer credit card information or personally identifiable information has been compromised".

"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. The L.A. Times and the Union-Tribune are no longer owned by Tribune, previously known as Tronc.

Tribune Publishing on Friday discovered the presence of malware which "impacted some back-office systems which are primarily used to publish and produce newspapers across our properties", Tribune Publishing spokeswoman Marisa Kollias said. The West Coast editions of the two NY papers are printed at the same Los Angeles printing facility as the L.A. Times.

The LA Times said that readers could access the Saturday edition online via the digital edition.

"One company insider, who was not authorized to comment publicly, said the corrupted Tribune Publishing computer files contained the extension '.ryk'". "We are working to restore full service and to continue to make our journalism available to you both in print and digitally".

The company said it first detected the malware on Friday, which hit papers sharing the same printing plant.

The San Diego Union-Tribune is said to have been hit particularly hard, as 85 to 90 percent of its Saturday edition didn't reach its subscribers.

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