News Corp has announced a cyberattack in its filings to the US Securities Exchange Commission, explaining that the attack took place at some point in January.
The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp, followed up on the filing with reporting that the attack was discovered on January 20. News Corp sent a letter about the attack to employees at the newspaper and the Dow Jones, the New York Post, the company's UK news outlet and the News Corp headquarters.
Mandiant vice president David Wong attributed the attack to actors allegedly based within China but did not provide any evidence for that assessment.
News Corp explained in its SEC filing that network and information systems and other technologies, including those related to the company's content delivery networks and network management, are important to its business activities and contain the company's proprietary, confidential and sensitive business information, including personal data of its customers and personnel.
"The Company also relies on third-party providers for certain technology and 'cloud-based' systems and services that support a variety of business operations. In January 2022, the Company discovered that one of these systems was the target of persistent cyberattack activity," the company said.
"Together with an outside cybersecurity firm, the Company is conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the activity to determine its nature, scope, duration and impacts. The Company's preliminary analysis indicates that foreign government involvement may be associated with this activity, and that data was taken. To the Company's knowledge, its systems housing customer and financial data were not affected. The Company is remediating the issue, and to date has not experienced any related interruptions to its business operations or systems. Based on its investigation to date, the Company believes the activity is contained. At this time, the Company is unable to estimate the expenses it will incur in connection with its investigation and remediation efforts."
News Corp is one of the most powerful news conglomerates in the world, controlling outlets in dozens of countries including the Sun, Barron's, The Australian, The Times Market Watch and Realtor.com.
In 2013, the Wall Street Journal was hacked alongside the New York Times by attackers allegedly from China following a controversial story about the wealth of former Premier Wen Jiabao.