Rupert Murdoch's News Corp suffered from a cyberattack resulting in stolen data. The incident is now linked to China-backed hackers who were “likely involved in espionage,” according to a cybersecurity company, Mandiant.
The hack targeted journalists across major news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, UK’s The Sun and The Times, and The New York Post. Threat actors accessed emails and other documents, such as article drafts, of journalists and workers in a bid to allegedly gather intelligence for China, according to investigators.
“Mandiant assesses that those behind this activity have a China nexus and believes they are likely involved in espionage activities to collect intelligence to benefit China's interests,” a cybersecurity company Mandiant, involved in investigating the hack, shared in a statement.
According to The Wall Street Journal, malicious hackers accessed News Corp’s Google System. However, there is no reason to believe that the attack related to a compromise at Google.
The company reported that while data was leaked, the incident was contained, and no customer information was affected.
“In January 2022, the Company discovered that one of these systems was the target of persistent cyberattack activity. Together with an outside cybersecurity firm, the Company is conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the activity to determine its nature, scope, duration and impacts. The Company’s preliminary analysis indicates that foreign government involvement may be associated with this activity, and that data was taken. To the Company’s knowledge, its systems housing customer and financial data were not affected,” News Corp reported to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Threat actors seemed to have been especially interested in documents related to China, including U.S. military troop activity, U.S. technology regulation related to China, and articles about White House officials. Journalists have since expressed concerns about the security of their sources’ identities.
Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, suggested that China currently poses the biggest threat to the USA’s ideas and economic security,
“When we tally up what we see in our investigations—over 2,000 of which are focused on the Chinese government trying to steal our information and technology—there is just no country that presents a broader threat to our ideas, our innovation, and our economic security than China,” Wray said on Thursday.
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