The Funke media group confirmed that the attack that began on 22 December (Tuesday) affected numerous computer systems in editorial offices and printing plants across the world.
It was this cyberattack that stopped it from publishing its daily Wednesday editions.
Berlin’s Morgenpost newspaper was estimated by the group to hit over 3.3 million nationally readers, and on Wednesday it was forced to print limited editions. It added that readers will have full online access free of charge to all of their content.
“It involved an attack in which the culprit’s encrypted data on the Funke media group’s IT systems,” the publisher said in a statement.
The company said that it “was prepared for such a situation” and had notified internal and external IT experts immediately to investigate the attack, and alerted the police as well.
It wasn’t immediately clear why the company was being attacked.
This wasn’t the first cyberattack on a news agency this year. Only last month, Ritzau, Denmark’s biggest news agency was shut down for a few days after hackers called for ransom to release locked data. The agency further said that it refused to pay the same.
Lars Vesterloekke, CEO of Ritzau, was unable to say how great was the demand for ransoms because those behind the “professional assault” left “a message file,” which the agency didn’t open following the orders of its consultants.