New York – On Friday, the Dow Jones & Co announced they were victims of a massive data breach after hackers were able to make an unauthorized entry to contact information on over 3,400 subscribers.

The Dow Jones, a unit of News Corp and owner of The Wall Street Journal, stated that the apparent goal of the hack was to obtain contact information such as names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers of current and former subscribers in order to send fraudulent solicitations. Based on the investigation experts said that the unauthorized access to its systems took place at certain times between August 2012 and July 2015.

An analyst looks at code in the malware lab of a cyber security defense lab at the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Credit: REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/Business Insisder

The Chief Executive of the Dow Jones, William Lewis, said to the Wall Street Journal it was law-enforcement officials in late July who informed the company about the breach. Then the company proceeded with the company investigation with cyber security experts who did not take long to reveal the unauthorized access taking place between the 3-year period.

Nevertheless, Lewis clarified “we have discovered no direct evidence that information was stolen.”

Other cases

Recently, data breaches have become increasingly common among private companies and government organizations with cases like Ashley Madison and Target Corp getting the international spotlight over cybersecurity. Last year, 43 percent of the 567 executives surveyed by the Ponemon Institute said they experienced a data breach in the past year.

Ashley Madison, the dating site aimed at people looking for extramarital affairs, suffered a data breach that got hackers names and addresses from users. Chief-executive of Ashley Madison was forced to step down and the company has said it is cooperating with investigations from authorities.

Also, retailers have suffered, including the breaches at Target Corp. and Home Depot Inc. where information on about 40 million and 56 million credit and debit card accounts, respectively, were compromised

Source: The Wall Street Journal