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News Corp, the news publishing empire owned by Rupert Murdoch, was the target of a cyberattack that hacked the email accounts of journalists and others at the company, in a breach that a digital security firm said was meant to help China.
The hack was disclosed in a securities filing on Friday. The company said it had discovered the attack on one of its systems in January.
David Kline, News Corp’s chief technology officer, said in an email to staff members on Friday that the company had notified U.S. law enforcement and opened an investigation with the digital security firm Mandiant after the discovery.
Mr. Kline said that the company believed the breach had affected “a limited number” of email accounts and documents from News Corp headquarters, News Technology Services, Dow Jones, News UK and The New York Post. Other News Corp properties, like News Corp Australia, HarperCollins Publishers and Storyful, were not believed to have been affected.
“Our preliminary analysis indicates that foreign government involvement may be associated with this activity, and that some data was taken,” Mr. Kline wrote in the email, which was viewed by The New York Times. “Mandiant assesses that those behind this activity have a China nexus and believes they are likely involved in espionage activities to collect intelligence to benefit China’s interests.”
Mr. Kline said that the company believed the threat was contained and that customer and financial data was not hacked.
“Even though the vast majority of our people’s emails and documents were not the target of this attack activity, we take seriously any attack on our organization and our employees, including our journalists,” Mr. Kline wrote in the email.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.