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More Swiss media groups affected by ransomware attack

Hackers
The IT systems of the Swiss newspaper group Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) was attacked on March 24 by a group that supposedly calls itself “Play”. Several other Swiss media groups have been affected. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

The Blick and Tamedia press groups have also been hit by the recent attack by cybercriminals in Switzerland, it was reported on Friday.

Data belonging to subscribers of the Blick and SonntagsBlick newspapers in cantons Aargau, Solothurn and Basel Country were affected by the recent computer attack, Blick said on Thursday night.

At Tamedia, delivery addresses from the same cantons have reportedlyExternal link been published on the dark web. This is a part of the internet hosted within an encrypted network and accessible only through specialised anonymity-providing tools.

The IT systems of the Swiss newspaper group Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) was attacked on March 24 by a group that supposedly calls itself “Play”.

The hackers had reportedly demanded a ransom to stop the release of sensitive staff data on the dark web.

+ Swiss newspaper hackers threaten data release ‘unless ransom paid’

On Wednesday the newspaper group CH Media confirmed that company data stolen during the recent ransomware attack had been published on the dark web.

CH Media has been affected by the attack because it purchases IT services from the NZZ. Another company that belongs to CH Media is responsible for the postal delivery of the Blick newspapers. The Tamedia customer data reportedly consists of delivery addresses from the same cantons as Blick.

+ Swiss media group data published on dark web

Following the hack, the three regional titles Aargauer Zeitung, Luzerner Zeitung and St-Galler Tagblatt had to temporarily give up their various regional sections of their newspapers. The NZZ also appeared in a reduced form on certain days. Since then, the newspapers have resumed their normal publication.

No NZZ data has been published to date, the company confirmed to Swiss public radio, SRF, on Wednesday.

+ Ransomware attacks on the rise in Switzerland

Cyberattackers have hacked several Swiss private and public targets in the past few years, with ransomware attacks on the rise.

These include defence contractor RUAG, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Swiss municipalities.

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