Three US news organizations, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, say Chinese hackers have infiltrated their company’s computers to track their coverage of China. Some experts say this has been an on-going problem for more than five years. These cyber attacks are different than most because of the danger to individuals.
But the use of news media can also provide an opening for hackers who want to know what reporters are covering and who’s giving them information.
These newspapers are not alone. Experts think nearly every media outlet has been attacked. They either don’t know it or don’t report it. Hacking hits at the Voice of America.
VOA’s Tibetan service broadcasts four TV shows a week and five radio shows a day. Bureau Chief Losang Gyatso says his people confront hackers daily.
“We basically don’t keep any of our contact information from our sources on our computers. We are very careful. We have shields and filters on all of our hard drives,”Gyatso said.
“Tibet.net is the Tibetan government in exile, so that address has been stolen, basically.”
Gyatso says, like with the U.S. newspapers, hacking has been traced to China.
Alan Paller has trained 145,000 cybersecurity experts around the world. He says more than 100 countries are involved in cyber espionage.
“China is noisier, meaning their techniques are often easier to find so they get caught a lot and so you read a lot of stories about them. But the Russians are just as prolific and much more clandestine.”