WASHINGTON: The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has become the second major US media organisation to accuse Chinese hackers of targeting its computers in an apparent effort to spy on journalists covering China.
The announcement came a day after The New York Times said hackers, possibly connected to China’s military, had infiltrated its computers in response to its expose of the vast wealth amassed by a top leader’s family.
The Journal reported that the attacks were “for the apparent purpose of monitoring the newspaper’s China coverage” and suggested that Chinese spying on US media has become a “widespread phenomenon.”
“Evidence shows that infiltration efforts target the monitoring of the Journal’s coverage of China, and are not an attempt to gain commercial advantage or to misappropriate customer information,” said a statement from Journal parent Dow Jones, a unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
The Journal gave no timeline for the attacks but said a network overhaul to bolster security had been completed on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Times reported that hackers had infiltrated computer systems and stolen staff passwords over the past four months. The effort was particularly focused on the emails of Shanghai bureau chief David Barboza, the newspaper said.
The Times said hackers stole corporate passwords and targeted the computers of 53 employees, including former Beijing bureau chief Jim Yardley, who is now the Times’s South Asia bureau chief based in India. The newspaper said Bloomberg News was also targeted by Chinese hackers, after publishing a report in June on the wealth accumulated by relatives of Xi Jinping. AFP