In July 2023 [1] [4], the AP Stylebook [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6], a widely used reference guide for journalists and newsrooms [1], experienced a data breach [1] [3] [5] [6]. This breach highlights the vulnerability of journalists to cyber-espionage and the potential consequences of unauthorized access to media networks.


The breach occurred when the AP Stylebook website [3], which was managed by a third party and no longer in use [3], was hacked [3]. Cybercriminals targeted users of the AP Stylebook through phishing attacks, gaining access to personal information such as names [2] [6], email addresses [1] [2] [5], phone numbers [1] [2] [5], and Social Security numbers [1] [2] [5]. Some users’ Taxpayer IDs may have also been accessed. The breach was discovered after users reported receiving phishing emails requesting credit card information updates [4]. The AP promptly took down the compromised site and phishing attempts [1] [4], notifying all affected individuals [2]. They are offering credit monitoring and identity restoration services [2] [5], as well as requiring password resets for all AP Stylebook customers. A total of 224 journalists and customers were impacted by the breach.


This incident serves as a reminder that journalists are often targeted for cyber-espionage, as unauthorized access to a media company’s network can lead to malicious activities [1]. It is crucial for media outlets to prioritize cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive information and prevent future breaches. The AP’s response, including credit monitoring and identity restoration services [2] [5], demonstrates their commitment to mitigating the impacts of the breach. However, it is essential for all journalists and newsrooms to remain vigilant and stay updated on the latest cybersecurity practices to safeguard against future incidents.