Politico — The NYT’s senior foreign correspondent, Yaniv Biddle, was forced out on Friday after it was revealed he wrote a story exposing the NYT’s internal security threat in December 2016.
Biddle’s piece, titled “How NYT Security Threats Created a Cyber War,” was published in a special edition of NYT Magazine on Dec. 22, 2016.
It detailed a series of attacks that had been carried out on the NYT, including one targeting the company’s email service, which resulted in a breach of the NYT.
It was the first time that NYT security had been exposed.
NYT security director David Cohen said in a statement to Politico that Biddle was “removed from his duties and reassigned to a new position.”
Biddle also said in the statement that he would be stepping down from NYT and that he “will continue to work closely with our team on our cybersecurity strategy and will remain as an editor-in-chief.”
Biddles job was due to expire in January 2017, but he had been with the NYT since 2014.
A few days after the story was published, he was fired.
In a statement, NYT CEO and President Donna Shalala called the firing a “mistake.”
“We are sorry for Yaniv’s departure,” Shalala said in an email to Politico.
“He was an exceptional journalist and an outstanding reporter.
Our commitment to the journalism of The New York Times has been and will continue to be steadfast.”
Biddings article, which was first reported by Politico, raised questions about NYT security and led to its internal security team deciding to suspend all cybersecurity training and a new security plan, Politico said.
Bidding was the subject of a separate story about the NYT that reported that a former senior NYT executive was behind an alleged attack that compromised the emails of over 500 NYT employees.
It said Bidds piece had led to the resignation of the former NYT executive, who the NYT said had been the source of the story.
The former executive was not named in the NYT article and he did not respond to a request for comment.
The NYT’s security team was also forced to issue a new cybersecurity plan after a separate report, which said a hacker linked to a group called “Cozy Bear” had been able to compromise some of the security systems at the NYT and steal sensitive data, according to the NYT report.
NYT spokeswoman Kelly Kline said in response to the Politico story, “We have a clear cybersecurity plan in place and we will be updating the NYT to reflect the latest threats.”
The NYT said it was “working with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to investigate” the hack.
The cyberthreat to NYT’s IT infrastructure was “serious” and was the reason why it had to shut down its email service and move to its own website, NYT said.
“The NYTimes was the target of cyberattacks that included a massive attack that crippled our systems, and this report underscores the seriousness of this threat,” Shalaly said.
NYT’s chief security officer, Alex Fowler, said in his statement to the company, “Yaniv’s reporting about a threat to the NYTimes had significant impact and led directly to our immediate actions.”
Bidding had been an important part of the newsroom, said Biddle.
He added, “The security and privacy of our users and audience are paramount.
Our goal is to protect their personal information, and we are deeply disappointed that this was not accomplished.”