New York Times and Wall Street Journal say they are under attack from China

US newspapers claim hackers have infiltrated their networks

New York

There are growing fears about Chinese cyber attacks on Western media outlets after two of America's largest newspapers said Chinese hackers had infiltrated their computer systems.

Hours after The New York Times (NYT) said Chinese hackers had targeted its computer network over the last four months, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, said it too had been the subject of similar attacks.

A statement from Dow Jones & Co, also owned by News Corporation, said: "Evidence shows that infiltration efforts target the monitoring of the Journal's coverage of China." It added that hacking attacks "related to coverage of China is an ongoing issue".

Earlier, the NYT said it had faced repeated hacking attacks as it prepared a story tracing the hidden riches of the family of Wen Jiabao, the country's premier.

The revelations came just weeks after Chinese authorities forced a NYT reporter to leave the country. Two months after the paper's Shanghai bureau chief David Barboza authored the account of the billions amassed by Mr Wen's relatives, Beijing refused to renew a visa for his colleague Chris Buckley.

In a story on its website, the paper said that as Mr Barboza was working on the piece, hackers had broken into its systems and cracked passwords for every employee. They broke into the email accounts of Mr Barboza and the paper's India-based South Asia bureau chief, Jim Yardley, who has previously reported from Beijing.

"Security experts hired by The [New York] Times to detect and block the computer attacks gathered digital evidence that Chinese hackers, using methods that some consultants have associated with the Chinese military in the past, breached The Times' network," the paper said.

Last year, hackers who according to past diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks were linked to the Chinese military, infiltrated European Union computers, accessing the emails of Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council, according to the Bloomberg news agency.

The attacks on the NYT first came to light when the story on the Wen family's finances, which used public records to estimate that the premier's relatives "have controlled assets worth at least $2.7bn", was published on 25 October. Warned of "consequences" for its investigation, the paper asked AT&T, the telecoms firm which monitors its computer network, to keep an eye out for unusual activity. AT&T detected hacking activity the day the article went up on the NYT website.

China has denied any role in the hacking, with the country's Ministry of National Defence telling the NYT that its laws prohibited "any action including hacking that damages internet security".

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss