A devastating and allegedly foreign cyberattack hindered newspaper distribution for several major U.S. outlets Saturday, according to news reports.
Printing and delivery of the publications was stymied because of the severity of the attack, some deliveries being either delayed or missed altogether, an unidentified person with knowledge of the situation told the Los Angeles Times, one of the papers affected.
Among the affected newspapers were the Baltimore Sun, the Chicago Tribune and the San Diego Union-Tribune as well as the New York Times’ and the Wall Street Journal’s West Coast editions. Each of them is printed in California at the Los Angeles Times’ downtown printing plant.
On its Twitter account, Tribune Publishing Company acknowledged the issues, empathizing with customers affected.
“A disruption to our print production systems caused delays in the delivery of some of our newspapers Saturday,” the statement read. “We apologize to all of our readers for the inconvenience.”
The source who gave further details to the Los Angeles Times said that the attack was likely meant to cause chaos.
“We believe the intention of the attack was to disable infrastructure, more specifically servers, as opposed to looking to steal information,” the individual said.
While no additional details on the attack’s origin were given, the source said it was the work of a “foreign entity.”
The Chicago Tribune, which also reported on the disruption of its own operations, called it a computer virus.
While the Times noted it was aware of the problem on Friday, its technology teams attempted to fix it, but couldn’t resolve the matter before production was set to begin.
The Tribune confirmed that customer information remained safe and news websites were still working properly.
The attack has been reported to the FBI, the outlet said.