'Wall Street Journal' and its owners hit by cyberattack linked to China

Hackers accessed the emails and documents of several employees, including journalists.

Robert Nickelsberg via Getty Images

News Corp says it was the target of a cyberattack that impacted The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Dow Jones, its UK news operations and other publications and business units. The company says hackers accessed the emails and documents of some employees, including journalists. A cybersecurity consultant News Corp brought in believes that China was connected to the intrusion, and that the aim of the attack may have been to gather intelligence for the country's benefit.

The attack was discovered on January 20th and News Corp disclosed it in a securities filing on Friday. It also informed law enforcement. According to The Journal, the company told staff the threat appears to have been contained and that it's offering support to affected employees. It doesn't appear that systems containing financial and customer data (including details on subscribers) were affected.

It's not the first time The Journal has been the target of a cyberattack. The publication said Chinese hackers aiming to keep tabs on coverage of the country accessed its network in 2013 to snoop on reporters.

This week, FBI director Christopher Wray said China is behind a “massive, sophisticated hacking program that is bigger than those of every other major nation combined.” Wray noted the agency has more than 2,000 investigations in progress connected to thefts of US tech or information that were allegedly orchestrated by the Chinese government. On average, the FBI opens two such probes every day.

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