News Corp, one of the largest media conglomerates in the world, said today that it was hacked by Chinese government-backed hackers, the company revealed today in documents filed with the US Securities Exchange Commission and in a report in the Wall Street Journal, one of its news media proprieties.
Attackers are believed to have gained access to emails and documents of News Corp reporters and employees from “a number of publications and business units including The Wall Street Journal and its parent Dow Jones; the New York Post; the company’s UK news operation; and News Corp headquarters.”
The attack took place last month and targeted one of the company’s s third-party cloud providers.
News Corp said it detected the intrusion on January 20, after which it hired security firm Mandiant, notified law enforcement, and contained the attack.
While an investigation is still ongoing, Mandiant told the WSJ today that they believe the attack was carried out by a threat actor operating in the interests of the Chinese government.
“The Company’s preliminary analysis indicates that foreign government involvement may be associated with this activity, and that data was taken,” News Corp also said in SEC filings today.
Besides the Wall Street Journal, News Corp also owns other media properties such as the New York Post, the Sun, Barron’s, The Australian, The Times, and Market Watch.
The company also owns real estate portal Realtor.com and book publisher HarperCollins, although they don’t appear to have been targeted by the attackers, which appear to have focused on the company’s news media business.
Last month’s incident marks the second time Chinese state-backed hackers have breached the WSJ, which they also hacked in 2013 in order to monitor the paper’s coverage of Chinese-related topics. Those attacks also targeted Bloomberg and the New York Times as well.