A suspected malware computer virus prevented the Los Angeles Times from publishing many of its Saturday print editions, in an attack that similarly crippled other newspapers across the country, the Times said Saturday.
The virus caused production problems at the California Times printing plant in downtown Los Angeles, where the Times is printed.
The San Diego Union-Tribune was unable to make Saturday delivery of its print addition, and the Southern California editions of the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times were affected as well.
The Times said the company “is investigating whether the computer problems were the result of a cyberattack by a third party.”
The Times said the issue — which apparently began late Thursday night — was first detected Friday. Technology teams made significant progress in fixing the problem, but were unable to clear all systems before press time.
In an update Saturday afternoon, the paper said that all publications within The Times’ former parent company, Tribune Publishing, had problems with print production Saturday. Tribune Publishing sold The Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune to Los Angeles biotech billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong in June, but the companies continue to share various systems, including software.
“Every market across the company was impacted,” said Marisa Kollias, spokesperson for Tribune Publishing. That includes: The Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Annapolis Capital-Gazette, Hartford Courant, New York Daily News, Orlando Sentinel and Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.
L.A. Times distribution director Joe Robidoux said he expects the majority of Times subscribers would receive their paper later Saturday. Those who don’t will get it with their regularly scheduled delivery of the Sunday edition.
The Times’ story said it was “unclear whether the company has been in contact with law enforcement regarding the suspected attack.”
A spokeswoman at the FBI’s Los Angeles field office would neither confirm nor deny that the agency is investigating the apparent attack.