Nine’s SMH print edition impacted by cyber-attack

The cyber-attack on Nine Entertainment Co has seen production of The Sydney Morning Herald also disrupted, similar to stablemate The Australian Financial Review.

In a note to readers, the editor Lisa Davies, wrote that: “As it stands, we have no idea how long this outage might last. But we are confident our systems will allow us to produce our usual print publications in the coming days and weeks.”

The cyber-attack on Nine was initiated on Sunday morning and initially prevented the media outlet from broadcasting programs on its main channel for several hours.

Lisa Davies

Davies added: “It’s frustrating and baffling but if the old adage ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ is anything to go by, when we come out the other side the Herald is going to be a masthead even more worthy of your continued support.”

She added: “The Herald’s website and app remain mostly unaffected and any login issues you may have experienced have now been resolved.”

The print size of the Financial Review and the SMH were reduced due to implications from the company’s decision to isolate the attack, thus impacting the systems used to produce the print publications.

“The program we use to create digital articles and printed pages was inaccessible, so we had to edit the stories in the digital environment and prayed the technology gods would find a way to give us access,” said Davies.

The company’s IT department had to close down certain systems within the organisation, one of those was the image library, resulting in only photographs taken in the past two weeks could be used, and no graphics could be uploaded.

The Tuesday edition of the newspaper was produced using an entirely different system that only a handful of staff can use.

“We made the quick decision to revert to what we knew, and moved at lightning speed to get the paper out the door. It was an extraordinary hour as we raced towards deadline. I can’t praise the team enough, led by production editor Steve Georgopoulos, for getting the best possible product to our subscribers. There were tears of relief when the front and back pages, the last to go, were finally sent to the printers,” Davies added.

Melbourne’s The Age newspaper was also impacted by the breach.

Nine has yet to attribute the attack to an organisation, individual or nation state. In a statement to Mumbrella a spokesperson said: “We are now moving to restore full services. We recognise the public interest and speculation around this cyber incident but we will not be making comments on the nature and motives of the attack.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.