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Major US Newspapers disrupted by ransomware

Several major US newspapers were crippled over the weekend as there were disruptions in printing and delivery. This is believed to be due to the cyberattack by the Ryuk ransomware strain.

The cyberattack affected the printing centers operated by Tribune Publishing and former Tribune Publishing property, the Los Angeles Times. Almost all of the Tribune Publishing newspapers were affected by the cyber-attack to some extent.

The print editions of the Chicago Tribune, Lake County News-Sun, Post-Tribune, Hartford Courant, Baltimore Sun, Capital Gazette, and Carroll County Times were published Saturday without paid death notices and classified ads, according to the Chicago Tribune, Hartford Courant, and Baltimore Sun.

In other markets likewise, a reduced version of the Saturday newspaper is likely to be delivered the next day according to the three newspapers.

Former Tribune Publishing west coast newspapers, The Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union Tribune have confirmed that the attack has impacted their delivery and distribution systems of the Saturday edition.

The LA Times also mentioned an inside source at its former mother company who claimed the printing outage was caused by an infection with the Ryuk ransomware.

This type of ransomware was first described in a Check Point report published. These types of ransomware targets attacks on those companies that cannot afford a major downtime. The attackers aim huge ransoms from such companies.

The earlier Ryuk ransomware victims include major Canadian restaurant chain Recipe Unlimited.

However, it is still not confirmed that the cyberattack was due to the ransomware infection, but a Tribune Publishing spokesperson stated that the incident was caused by some malware. He also confirmed that the websites and mobile applications of its newspapers weren’t affected.

Tribune Publishing is one of the biggest media groups in United States that owns several major newspapers such as the Hartford Courant, The Morning Call, The Baltimore Sun, The Virginian-Pilot, Daily Press, Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Sun Sentinel, NY Daily News, Tidewater Review, Capital Gazette, Carroll County Times, and The Virginia Gazette, among others.

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