On a visit to our offices last year, a U.S. lawmaker with knowledge of intelligence affairs explained that, when it comes to cyber-espionage, there are only two kinds of American companies these days: Those that have been hacked, and those that don't know they've been hacked. So it comes as no great surprise to learn that The Wall Street Journal has also been hacked.
Specifically, the email accounts of under two dozen Journal editors, reporters and editorial writers have been hacked for months and maybe longer by the Chinese government. The hackers entered our systems and sought to monitor our China coverage. We identified the hacking last year and have taken steps to prevent it. The attack parallels similar Chinese infiltration of the New York Times, which believes the cyber-espionage originated with a Chinese military unit, as well as a hacking attempt last year against Bloomberg News.
We'll go out on a limb and assume these hacks stem from a common source. As for the Chinese motive, our friends at the Times think it was in connection to the paper's investigation of the fabulous family wealth of the former premier, "Grandpa" Wen Jiabao. Bloomberg believes it was hacked after publishing an exposé of the riches of the relatives of Xi Jinping, then China's vice president and now the general secretary.