British media The Guardian reports on an alleged ransomware attack

British media The Guardian reports on an alleged ransomware attack

The Guardian, a British publication, has revealed that it has suffered a serious IT problem, which it believes is likely to be a ransomware hit.

In a memo to staff, Guardian Media Group chief executive Anna Bateson and editor-in-chief Katharine Viner said: “There has been a serious incident affecting our IT network and systems over the past 24 hours. We believe this is a ransomware attack, but continue to consider all options.”

“The IT Incident”

As first reported by The Guardian’s media editor, the incident occurred late on Tuesday, December 20, and has disrupted some of the company’s technology infrastructure. That prompted management to tell employees to work remotely for the rest of the week.

Some of the support services have also been discontinued.

There has been little or no impact on online publishing, with new articles regularly appearing on the Guardian’s website and mobile app.

The media maintained optimism that Thursday’s newspaper edition could still be printed.

“We continue to publish globally on our website and apps, and although some of our internal systems are affected, we are confident that we will be able to publish in print tomorrow. Our technology teams have been working to manage all aspects of this incident, with the vast majority of our employees able to work from home as we did during the pandemic,” said Bateson and Viner.

It is unknown if any data was taken or if The Guardian was issued a ransom demand. And according to TechCrunch, other facts about the incident are still vague.

Criminals who use ransomware typically steal sensitive information from victims and threaten to leak it unless a ransom is paid.

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It is also not clear who is responsible for the attack, and no major ransom gangs have yet claimed responsibility.

Also read: Uber is investigating third-party cyberattacks, leaks of employee email addresses and other company data

Earlier same cases

Cybercriminals have made a habit of attacking media all over the world.

US corporate website Fast Company was hacked in September with the intention of sending malicious push notifications to Apple News readers.

According to previous reports, someone going by the name “Thrax” hacked into Fast Company News and caused the incident. Although a name was revealed, the actual perpetrator of this breach was still unknown.

Twitter was flooded with various screenshots from concerned iPhone owners. A number of people who do not subscribe to Fast Company nevertheless received similar alerts.

The alert takes readers to another hacked article where the same inflammatory language is used.

Meanwhile, in October, the New York Post reported that its website and Twitter had also been hacked. Racist, violent and sexually explicit headlines about prominent people had been published at the time.

However, the company representative later said that an inquiry found that an employee was responsible for the misconduct and that person had been dismissed.

Also read: Metropolitan Opera experiences cyber attack, affecting website, box office, call center

Trisha Andrada

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