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January 2, 2019

US - #WeeklyAddress: December 25 - December 30: Cyberattack attempts to cripple American newspapers

FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP
Below are the most notable incidents regarding threats to press freedom in the US during the week of December 25 - December 30:

Cyberattack attempts to cripple American newspapers

A cyberattack that appears to have originated from outside the United States disrupted production, printing and delivery services at several newspapers across the country on December 29. The computer virus spread through the network of Tribune Publishing, one of the nation’s largest newspaper companies, affecting newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Capital Gazette and the New York Daily News. It also slowed the distribution of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times on the West Coast, as they share a printing plant with the Los Angeles Times. It is unclear how many subscribers were affected by late deliveries, though most received their papers a few hours late on Saturday morning. The virus did not access the personal data of subscribers, online readers, or advertising clients. “We believe the intention of the attack was to disable infrastructure, more specifically servers, as opposed to looking to steal information,” an anonymous source told the Los Angeles Times.

 

The United States ranks 45th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2018 World Press Freedom Index after falling 2 places in the last year

 

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