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News Corp. says China likely behind hack of emails and documents

Lachlan Murdoch and Rupert Murdoch watch a tennis match
Lachlan Murdoch and Rupert Murdoch watch the U.S. Open in 2018. News Corp., the media company controlled by the Murdochs, says China was likely behind a hack of emails.
(Adrian Edwards / GC Images)
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The media company News Corp. said Friday that it believes a foreign government was behind a recent hack of its computer systems.

China is suspected of being behind the attack, according to a cybersecurity expert.

Michelle Gotthelf’s lawsuit contains allegations that Murdoch’s longtime lieutenant, Col Allan, allegedly propositioned her for sex and instructed her to ‘get rid of’ a story about a rape allegation against former President Trump.

Jan. 25, 2022

An internal memo to News Corp. employees said the company discovered “attack activity” Jan. 20 on a system used by several businesses, affecting a “limited number” of email accounts and documents that affected Dow Jones, News UK and the New York Post.

“Our preliminary analysis indicates that foreign government involvement may be associated with this activity, and that some data was taken,” said the note, which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

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“We will not tolerate attacks on our journalism, nor will we be deterred from our reporting, which provides readers everywhere with the news that matters,” the letter said.

David Wong, vice president of consulting at cybersecurity firm Mandiant Inc., which is assisting News Corp. with its investigation, said his firm believes the attacks “have a China nexus.”

“We believe they are likely involved in espionage activities to collect intelligence to benefit China’s interests,” he said.

A News Corp. filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday stated that an unnamed cloud service used by News Corp. was the “target of persistent cyberattack activity.” The company told regulators it was “remediating the issue, and to date has not experienced any related interruptions to its business operations or systems.”

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