Cyber Attack Linked to China Targets WSJ, New York Post, News Corp

News Corp, the owner of Fox News, has reported being the target of a major cyberattack that accessed emails and documents of staff, including journalists.

Its cybersecurity consultant said hackers likely tried to gather intelligence to benefit China's interests.

The hack was discovered on January 20 and disclosed in a securities filing, seen by Newsweek, on Friday.

It impacted several News Corp businesses, including the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, the company's U.K. news operation, and News Corp headquarters, an anonymous source told The Journal.

"Mandiant assesses that those behind this activity have a China nexus, and we believe they are likely involved in espionage activities to collect intelligence to benefit China's interests," said David Wong, vice president of incident response at cybersecurity firm Mandiant told The Journal reported.

The hackers' method and the number of employees affected was not immediately released.

The securities filing said that the company is conducting an investigation into the hack to determine its "nature, scope, duration and impacts." News Corp said that to its knowledge, its systems of customer and financial data were not affected. The media company added that it believed the cyber breach had been "contained."

Newsweek has contacted News Corp for comment.

Journalists have often been the target of cyberattacks due to the sensitive information they often carry. In recent years, Washington has in recent years repeatedly accused Beijing and Moscow of being linked to several cyberattacks on its businesses and government departments.

Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, has claimed that more cyber attacks come from China then everywhere else combined.

In a speech on Monday titled "Countering Threats Posed by the Chinese Government Inside the U.S.," Wray said the intelligence agency is investigating more than 2,000 thought to be Chinese attempts to "steal our information and technology."

Wray said that there was no country that presents "a broader threat to our ideas, our innovation and our economic security than China."

Last June, JBS, the world's largest meat processing company, stood down thousands of staff after a suspected Russian ransomware attack that disrupted cattle-slaughtering operations of the Brazil-based company.

Only the month before, a ransomware attack stopped flows on the Colonial pipeline, the largest pipeline system for refined oil products in the U.S. Colonial said it had paid the hackers $4.4 million on May 7, although it denied doing so at the time.

In April, dozens of U.S. government agencies, defenses contractors and financial institutions were compromised. U.S. officials said sophisticated Chinese state hackers were behind the breaches.

News Corp
Sign on facade at entrance to office of News Corporation, parent company of Fox News, in Manhattan, New York City, New York, February 6, 2019. News Corp was the target of a huge hack, which it claims may have been serving China's interests. Morse Collection/Gado/Getty