The Sun’s computer network has been targeted by Russian hackers, amid fears emails at other UK news organisations could also be at risk.
The UK’s best-selling newspaper told staff this week of the cyber security threat and is offering training to make sure they can spot potential phishing attacks.
Buzzfeed News revealed the contents of an email sent by Christina Scott, chief technology officer for Sun parent company News UK, informing staff of the would-be hackers’ attempts.
Scott wrote: “Recently we have seen attempts by IP addresses linked to Russia attempting to connect to our network. We also know email addresses of UK news organisations are being targeted.”
She added: “Russia currently has three active malware campaigns highlighted by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – Cozy Bear, Berserk Bear and Pawnstorm.
“We are working with the NCSC to guard against these and are constantly monitoring our networks.”
A Sun spokesperson told Press Gazette that, as far as the company is aware, there have been no breaches to its computer systems.
He said: “This is run of the mill training and training that no doubt all high-profile organisations are engaged in.
“As a news company we take cyber security extremely seriously and we are always working to ensure our defences are as robust in the future as they are today.”
The NCSC’s latest advisory notice, released last month alongside the FBI and Department of Homeland Security in the US, warned Russian state-sponsored cyber actors were carrying out the worldwide cyber exploitation of network infrastructure devices.
It said the targets of this malicious cyber activity were primarily government and private-sector organisations, critical infrastructure providers, and the internet service providers supporting these sectors.
The NCSC said organisations all over the UK will be carrying out pre-emptive measures similar to those at the Sun.
A spokesperson told Press Gazette: “The National Cyber Security Centre supports organisations in improving their cyber resilience and encourage them to implement the advice and guidance developed by our experts.
“A key principle of the NCSC is to work closely with industry and organisations to make the UK the safest place to live and do work on line.
“We carry out real-time threat analysis and provides proactive expert cyber security advice to UK organisations, businesses and individuals to defend themselves from cyber attacks.
“Our ongoing support with the media industry is part of a nationwide, pre-emptive measure to ensure news organisations’ continued cyber safety.”