Chinese hackers stole NY Times staffs’ passwords after report on Wen relatives’ wealth
New York, NY, United States (4E) – The New York Times has revealed that Chinese hackers were stealing passwords of the newspaper’s staffs in the last four months after the reporting of alleged fortunes amassed by relatives of China’s prime minister Wen Jiabao.
An article appearing on The Times’ Wednesday issue said computer security experts of Mandiant, which was hired to detect and block the cyberattack, found the method used by the hackers to break into the e-mail accounts of The Times’ Shanghai bureau chief, David Barboza, and India bureau chief, Jim Yardley, similar to that used by China’s military in the past.
No sensitive e-mails or files related to the Oct. 25 report by Barboza and Yardley were stolen or copied, according to executive editor Jill Abramson. Also, no personal data were stolen.
The hackers appeared to be searching for names of people who provided information to Barboza and Yardley.
The hackers reportedly used computers at United States universities to infect The Times’s server with malware that allowed them to gain access to the paper’s computer network and steal the passwords of employees.
Security experts said they have expelled the hackers and prevented them from breaking back in.
China’s defense and foreign ministries on Thursday denied involvement in the hacking and labeled the accusation as baseless and irresponsible.
The controversial report on Wen’s relatives prompted Chinese authorities to block access to The Times’ website in mainland China.
In June, Bloomberg News suffered the same cyberattack after publishing a story on the wealth of relatives of then Chinese vice president Xi Jinping. Xi is now the secretary general of China’s Community Party and could be declared the next president in March.