Hack of News Corp Is Blamed on China

Publisher of the 'Wall Street Journal' says journalist data was stolen
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 4, 2022 1:06 PM CST
News Corp Blames China for Hacking
The publisher of the Wall Street Journal and other journalistic publications has been hacked and Chinese intelligence-gathering is allegedly responsible, the AP reports.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

News Corp, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, said Friday that hackers breached its system and stole data from journalists and other employees. A cybersecurity firm investigating the intrusion said Chinese intelligence-gathering was believed to be behind the operation, the AP reports. The news company, whose publications and businesses include the New York Post and Journal parent Dow Jones, said it discovered the breach on Jan. 20. It said in a regulatory filing that an investigation is underway “to determine its nature, scope, duration, and impacts.” It said customer and financial data were so far not affected and that the company's operations had not been interrupted.

But a major concern was the company's journalists. News organizations are prime targets for the world's intelligence agencies because their reporters are in constant contact with sources of sensitive information. Mandiant, the cybersecurity firm examining the hack, said in a statement that it “assesses that those behind this activity have a China nexus, and we believe they are likely involved in espionage activities to collect intelligence to benefit China’s interests.” It was not known when the hackers breached the network or how much data they stole.

In an email to staff, News Corp said the hack "affected a limited number of business email accounts and documents from News Corp headquarters, News Technology Services, Dow Jones, News UK, and the Post. Our preliminary analysis indicates that foreign government involvement may be associated with this activity, and that some data was taken,” the email said. FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a speech this week that the bureau is opening investigations tied to suspected Chinese espionage operations about every 12 hours, and that it has more than 2,000 such probes. He said Chinese government hackers have been pilfering more personal and corporate data than all other countries combined. (More Wall Street Journal stories.)

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