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Malware disrupts Baltimore Sun Media print production

A computer virus disrupted production of The Baltimore Sun, Capital Gazette, Carroll County Times and other Tribune Publishing newspapers across the country, the company said Saturday.

Print editions of The Baltimore Sun, Capital Gazette and Carroll County Times were published Saturday without paid death notices and classified ads. In other markets similarly slimmed-down versions of the Saturday newspaper were published.

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Tribune Publishing newspapers on Sunday continued to experience issues associated with a malware attack, which was discovered Friday, and some content likely will be missing from Monday’s papers, the Chicago-based company said, as the company investigates the attack with the assistance of the FBI and works to restore its systems.

“We have made significant progress and are proud of our team across the organization that put Sunday’s delivery of newspapers back on an ordinary schedule through incredible and extraordinary effort,” Tribune Publishing spokeswoman Marisa Kollias said in a statement Sunday.

A source familiar with the investigation said the malware has been identified as Ryuk ransomware, which was highlighted as a threat associated with overseas hackers in an August government cybersecurity report. There was no ransom demand made, the source said.

Tribune Publishing news websites were not affected, and no customer information was compromised, the company said. “There is no evidence that customer credit card information or personally identifiable information has been compromised,” Kollias said.

All Tribune Publishing newspapers were affected by the malware, with the South Florida Sun Sentinel, for example, unable to produce its paper in time for Saturday delivery. Those newspapers will be delivered today, the company said.

Tribune owns Baltimore Sun Media, which also publishes two other daily newspapers in the region: the Carroll County Times and The Capital in Annapolis.

Formerly known as Tronc, Tribune Publishing also owns the Chicago Tribune, Hartford Courant, Orlando Sentinel, New York Daily News, The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa., the Daily Press in Newport News, Va., and The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va.

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