He philadelphia enquirer is struggling to restore its systems and resume normal operations after becoming the latest major media organization to be targeted in a cyberattack.
With no regular Sunday paper and online stories also facing some delays, the cyberattack has caused the worst outage to the Inquirer in decades.
The targeted attack on the Philadelphia registration document has been reported to the FBI.
The outage to the Inquirer, the most widely read newspaper in Pennsylvania and the third longest-running continuous newspaper in the US, comes as the city prepares for the mayoral primary election on Tuesday. The Inquirer’s offices will be closed through at least Tuesday, and the company is looking for a co-working space to serve as a makeshift newsroom for election night.
It is unclear when normal editorial services will be restored.
News organizations are increasingly targeted by sophisticated cyberattacks, as are government agencies, hospitals, universities, and the corporate sector.
In December, The Guardian was affected by a ransomware attack in which the personal data of staff in the UK and US was accessed. Print continued uninterrupted, but the incident, which was likely triggered by a Phishing attempt, in which the victim is tricked, often by email, into downloading malware, forced The Guardian to close its offices for several months.
The Los Angeles Times in 2018 was affected by a large ransomware attack in which a type of malware that essentially cripples a system, holding it at ransom, and demands payment to release the system.
Few details about the Inquirer attack have been released to staff members or readers. It is unclear if personal data was exposed, exactly which systems were breached, or who was behind the attack and what their motivations were.
In an email, Inquirer editor Lisa Hughes. He said that “we are currently unable to provide an exact timeline” for when operations will be fully restored. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we work to fully restore systems and complete this investigation as soon as possible.”
The Monday newspapers were printed although without classified ads.
The incident is the largest disruption to publication by the state’s largest news organization since a blizzard shut down operations for two days in January 1996, the company said.