Computer virus disrupts production of newspapers

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A cyberattack which appeared to originate from overseas disrupted the publication and distribution of numerous newspapers in the United States, papers hit by the malware said.

Tribune Publishing Co. newspapers across the country were also affected, including The Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Annapolis Capital-Gazette, Hartford Courant, New York Daily News, Orlando Sentinel and Fort Lauderdale Sun- Sentinel.

A source told the Times the source of the attack was a "foreign entity".

The local editions of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, which are printed at the Los Angeles Times' printing plant, also saw delays in distribution. When some L.A. Times readers called to inquire about their print edition, the customer service phone lines were on the fritz.

However, Tribune Publishing's website was not affected and no customer information was compromised, according to the statement issued by the company on Saturday. Teams from both companies were making progress against the virus, but weren't able to fix it before the newspapers went to print. People who didn't get their Saturday newspapers will receive it alongside the Sunday edition. Tribune Publishing sold The Times and The San Diego Union-Tribune to Los Angeles businessman Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong in June, but the companies continue to share various systems, including software.

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The print edition of the Chicago Tribune was published Saturday without paid death notices and classified ads, while in other markets a similarly slimmed-down version of the Saturday newspaper will be delivered on Sunday, the company said.

All papers within The Times' former parent company, Tribune Publishing, experienced glitches with the production of papers. "We are working diligently to resolve this matter". The paper's main Twitter account has been responding to individual complaints with phrases like, "We've had a ton of delivery problems today which is why our lines are busy" and "You're right!"

The virus also affected the paper's digital replica online.

"Several individuals with knowledge of the Tribune situation said the attack appeared to be in the form of "Ryuk" ransomware", reported the Los Angeles Times.