Chinese Hackers Attacking The New York Times

Attacks on newspapers and journalists aren’t new, though some of the methods are, as evidenced by hackers recently infiltrating The New York Times’ computer network. According to The Times, the newspaper discovered the intruders and monitored their activities before kicking them out of the system. The Times plans to use what it learned from the hackers to bolster its network defenses.

The New York Times Website
The New York Times reported on its own network breach today. Image credit: NYT

The Times points to indicators that the attackers may have links to the Chinese military, and speculates that the hacking may be a response to the newspaper’s coverage of China’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao. The Times recently reported on the prime minister’s wealth; the attackers accessed the email of the Shanghai bureau chief who provided much of the coverage.

The attack also involved grabbing the passwords of The Times’ other employees, including its journalists. The attackers tried to shield their identity by first attacking university computers to make them look like the source of the attacks.