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The Day – The Day’s e-paper provider recovering from cyberattack

New London — PressReader, which provides digital versions of The Day and more than 7,000 other newspapers and magazines around the world, continues to recover from what it said was a “cybersecurity incident” that disrupted its operations last week.

Electronic versions of The Day — its so-called “e-paper” — were knocked out Thursday, Friday and Saturday before the service summarized with Sunday’s edition.

The missing e-paper editions will be restored, Timothy Dwyer, president and publisher, said Monday.

“I want to personally apologize to subscribers for the disruption in service,” he said. “Everything will be restored. We don’t know when yet, but it will be restored.”

Dwyer also emphasized that the security of subscribers’ information on file with The Day is secure and has never been at risk. He said The Day has been as transparent as possible in keeping subscribers apprised of the situation.

“Initially, we had some trouble getting in touch (with PressReader) — their email has been down, too,” he said. “But as soon as we did learn something, we passed along all the information we had.”

Some 4,000 subscribers regularly access the e-paper, “which might be up over the last couple of years,” Dwyer said. Readers who subscribe to The Day’s print and/or digital editions automatically can access the e-paper. It is not possible to solely subscribe to the e-paper.

“What we’ve learned is that some people who are not getting the physical paper still like to read it (electronically) in that form,” Dwyer said.

The Day’s e-paper has a monthly average of nearly 3,500 users, or 116 per day, according to Google Analytics, which measures traffic to The Day’s online sites. Joe Ruggeri, The Day’s web developer, said e-paper readers spend an average of nearly 17 minutes with the e-paper, far longer than readers spend in a session with theday.com, The Day’s website.

Subscribers can access the e-paper at http://epaper.theday.com/ or on mobile phones and tablets via the PressReader app. The app allows subscribers to have the e-paper sent each day to their email inbox.

Ruggeri said subscribers’ reaction to the PressReader outage was “swift and plentiful.” He said he personally answered dozens of emails over the weekend, and employees in other departments also fielded calls and emails. The Day’s marketing department emailed all subscribers over the weekend.

“We are happy to report that we have officially restored our systems,” PressReader informed its clients in an email Sunday night. “Issues between March 3rd and March 5th will be processed in the coming days…”

PressReader said it’s still investigating the full scope of the cyberattack, which it said came as companies across North America have been experiencing an increase in security incidents in recent weeks.

“(W)hat we can share is that the PressReader team has been working around the clock to ensure that we stand alongside our partners in our commitment to the free press and the distribution of quality journalism,” PressReader said. “This commitment has never been more important and we will continue to improve our operations to ensure that we are supporting each other in fulfilling this mission.”

Founded in 1999 as NewspaperDirect, PressReader has grown rapidly since rebranding itself in 2014, and now has more than 12 million monthly average users. Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, it has offices in Dublin, Ireland, and Manila, Philippines.

Among the other digital newspaper editions it provides are those of The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, the South China Morning Post, USA Today and The Irish Times.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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