LOS ANGELES – A cyber attack apparently originating outside of the US had caused major disruptions on Saturday in several newspapers across the country, including the Los Angeles Times, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.  The attack resulted in delays in distribution in the Times' Saturday edition, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and several other major newspapers operating on a single production platform. It also hindered the distribution of the West Coast editions of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, all of which are printed at the Los Angeles Times print shop in downtown Los Angeles.
"We believe the intent of the attack was to" disable the infrastructure, especially the servers, rather than stealing information, "the source said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to to speak publicly.
No further details on the origin of the attack were immediately available, including the motive. The source identified the attacker only as a "foreign entity".
All the newspapers of Times' former parent company, Tribune Publishing, had problems producing newspapers. Patrick Jun-Shiong, The Union and the San Diego Union-Tribune sold the businessman in Los Angeles in June, but the companies continue to share different systems, including software.
"Every market in the company was affected," said Marisa Kollias, spokeswoman for Tribune Publishing. It declined to pinpoint the disruption, but corporate attributes include the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Annapolis Capital Gazette, Hartford Courant, New York Daily News, Orlando Sentinel, and Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.
Tribune Publishing said in a statement on Saturday that "the personal information of our subscribers, online users and advertisers has not been compromised. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank our readers and advertisers for their patience as we examine the situation. News and all our regular features are available online.
The Times said the problem was first discovered on Friday. Technology teams made significant progress in troubleshooting, but could not clear all systems before going to press.
Sales Director Joe Robidoux said he expected the majority of Los Angeles Times subscribers to receive their newspaper on Saturday, but was delayed. For print subscribers who did not receive a newspaper on Saturday, they receive the newspaper along with the regular delivery of the Sunday edition.
If you're one of our print subscribers, you probably did not receive your paper today. We apologize for the inconvenience. This is the reason for the delays: https://t.co/XsBAk0TWqk[19459003 –
Los Angeles Times (@latimes) December 29, 2018
The attack seemed to have begun late Thursday night and had expanded on Friday to key areas required for the publication of major software systems, in news, photos, and administrative information, and made it difficult to create the plates used to print newspapers in The Times downtown.
"We are trying to take remedial action so that we can create pages out. It's all in production. We need the plates to start the presses. That's the bottleneck. "Said Robidoux.
" We apologize to our customers for these inconveniences. Thank you for your patience and support as we respond to this on-going issue, "the Times said in a statement.
It was not clear if the company had any contact with law enforcement agencies about the alleged attack, an FBI spokeswoman did not immediately know if the incident had been reported to their agency.
The problem caused widespread problems for Sun Sentinel readers in South Florida, one of the main markets of Tribune Publishing the production stopped and hindered the telephone lines. "
The problem caused great confusion, the newspaper said, adding that the subscribers who called the newspaper's offices on Saturday morning were" wrongly told that the numbers were not in use. "
Readers of the New York Times and the Palm Beach Post in South Florida also had no Saturday editions as the Sun-Sentinel also printed these newspapers. The Sun Sentinel told readers they would receive their Saturday edition along with their Sunday paper. Subscribers to Orlando Sentinel have received their paperwork on time, according to a Tribune Publishing representative.
Ventura County Star, owned by Gannett Co. Inc., said it was affected as well.
"Usually when someone tries to disrupt a computer As a digital resource like a newspaper, you consider an experienced and sophisticated hacker," said Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, a nonprofit research group on public interest.  Malware has become increasingly sophisticated and coordinated over time, with more planning through networks of hackers infiltrating a system over time, she said.
"Modern malware is all about the long game," Dixon said "When it comes to malware, people might think it's a small program running on my computer," Dixon said.
"Malware can get down to its worst Moving systems and disrupting very important aspects of these systems. "
– By Tony Barboza, Meg James and Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles T imes