News Corp. said Friday that emails and other documents of some of its journalists and other employees were stolen in a cyberattack that its security experts attribute to hackers likely working on behalf of the Chinese government.
The data breach, discovered Jan. 20, was disclosed in a regulatory filing. The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp., reported that the attack affected a number of publications and businesses including the Journal and its parent, Dow Jones; the New York Post; the company’s UK news operation; and News Corp. headquarters.
News Corp. said in its filing that it believes the breach has been contained and that its systems housing customer and financial data weren’t affected. Law enforcement was notified, and the company hired cybersecurity firm Mandiant to investigate the breach.
David Wong, vice president of incident response at Mandiant, told the Journal that the people behind the breach are “likely involved in espionage activities to collect intelligence to benefit China’s interests.”
Representatives for the Chinese Embassy in Washington didn’t immediately respond to WSJ requests for comment.
US authorities have long accused China-based hackers of targeting American businesses and government institutions. The FBI has more than 2,000 active investigations related to allegations of Chinese government-directed theft of US information or technology, FBI Director Christopher Wray said this week.
China has repeatedly denied accusations that it has carried out cyberattacks.