2018 has been a dangerous year for those who bring us the news: according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 129 journalists were killed this year. For the first time in history, the United States has been listed as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists to ply their trade. The President of the United States has been calling the media industry an "enemy of the people" for the past two years. Many of his acolytes have bought into his bullshit: news rooms have come under assault by gunmen. Bomb threats against TV stations have been made on a number of occasions. Nicaragua's government has hamstrung the nation's independent press. Jamal Khashoggi of The Washington Post was strangled and sawed to pieces by Saudi operatives. President Trump pretty much shrugged his shoulders and got on with his life. The hate and distrust showered on those working to cast light on the dark secrets that our governments would rather not be known are a budding fascist's wet dream.
And now, many of the nation's newspapers of record have suffered a cyberattack.
From The Los Angeles Times:
A cyberattack that appears to have originated from outside the United States caused major printing and delivery disruptions at several newspapers across the country on Saturday including the Los Angeles Times, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
The attack led to distribution delays in the Saturday edition of The Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and several other major newspapers that operate on a shared production platform. It also stymied distribution of the West Coast editions of the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, which are all printed at the Los Angeles Times' Olympic printing plant in downtown Los Angeles.
"We believe the intention of the attack was to disable infrastructure, more specifically servers, as opposed to looking to steal information," said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly.
According to the LA Times, which is owned by billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the attack also clipped publications owned by the paper's owners, Tribune Publishing, and Gannett–the parent company of USA Today.
At the time that this story was first reported upon, the FBI wasn't aware that the cyberattack had taken place. I'm betting that the incident has a good chunk of their attention, by now. Right now, if anyone knows about who launched the attack, their keeping their mouths shut. The best that anyone seems able to manage is that the attack came from outside of the country.
Image via Wikipedia Commons