News Corp recently discovered that their U.S. headquarters had been targeted by hackers. The publishing empire was the target of a cyber-attack which accessed the email accounts of journalists and many others working for the company, via a breach that a digital security firm stated was ‘meant to help China’.
The timing of News Corp’s announcement, including in a regulatory filing on Friday, coincided with the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, with the attack said to have commenced in January 2022. News Corp’s Chief Technology Officer, David Kline, advised employees of the company that U.S. law enforcement had been notified. They then opened an investigation in conjunction with the digital security firm Mandiant.
It was presumed that only a certain number of employees of the company were affected by the hack, which included access to confidential documents from various organizations.
“Our preliminary analysis indicates that foreign government involvement may be associated with this activity, and that some data was taken,” Mr Kline wrote in an email.
Prime targets for hackers
This hack raises a serious concern in regards to impact on news reporting and confidential sources. News organisations are usually a prime target for intelligence agencies worldwide, as reporters are constantly in contact with sensitive information and journalists from Mexico and El Salvador to Qatar where Al-Jazeera headquarters is based, who have previously been hacked with highly powerful spyware.
Staying safe and protecting your information
Every year the number of cyber-attacks by hackers increases. The pandemic also increased the numbers, resulting in concern about how well people are educated on staying safe and protecting their data online. Outlined below are ways to reduce the risk of being hacked:
- Keep your computers and mobile devices updated
- Set strong passwords and use two factor authentication
- Watch out for phishing scams and be familiar with identifying them easily
- Leave all personal information off your social media profiles, as hackers can use social media to identify you
For more information on system security and how to decrease your organisation’s chances of being hacked, please contact us.
Author: Mahdi Kobeissi, Cybersecurity Consultant