The Times and The Post used the same Alexandria-based security company, Mandiant, to secure their systems. Grady Summers, a vice president at Mandiant, declined to comment on the intrusion at The Post but said that in general, Chinese government hackers “want to know who the sources are, who in China is talking to the media. . . . They want to understand how the media is portraying them — what they’re planning and what’s coming.”…

The cyberattack targeted The Post’s main information technology server and several other computers, said people familiar with the incident who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe details the company did not release publicly.

These people said that sensitive administrative passwords likely were compromised, giving hackers potentially wide-ranging access to The Post’s systems before the computers were taken offline and enhanced monitoring was put in place to prevent a recurrence. It was not clear what information, if any, was stolen by the hackers.