Guardian Newspaper Suffers Ransomware Attack

British newspaper, the Guardian, reveals that it has suffered a “serious IT incident” believed to be a ransomware attack

The scourge of ransomware attacks have targetted businesses, government departments, hospitals, and now newspapers.

The Guardian newspaper reported on Wednesday that the Guardian Media Group has been “hit by a serious IT incident, which is believed to be a ransomware attack.”

The ransomware threat is not going away. Earlier this month a cyberattack on a provider of digital services to Belgium’s largest city, Antwerp, caused significant disruption, and downed Antwerp’s city services.

Ransomware attack

According to the Guardian itself, its incident began late on Tuesday night and affected parts of the company’s technology infrastructure.

The newspaper also admitted there has also been some disruption to behind-the-scenes services, but online publishing is largely unaffected, with stories continuing to be written and published to the Guardian website and app.

The company said it was confident it could still produce Thursday’s print newspaper, but staff have been told to work from home for the rest of the week.

“As everyone knows, there has been a serious incident which has affected our IT network and systems in the last 24 hours,” the Guardian Media Group chief executive, Anna Bateson, and the editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, were quoted as telling staff. “We believe this to be a ransomware attack but are continuing to consider all possibilities.”

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

Business continuity

“We will continue to keep our staff and anyone else affected informed,” they stated. “We will update everyone again at the end of the day. With a few key exceptions we would like everyone to work from home for the remainder of the week unless we notify you otherwise.

“Thank you to everyone working hard throughout this incident to keep us publishing, looking after our readers, supporters and advertisers, and to keep our core systems available for colleagues.”

Last month a report from cybersecurity specialist Deep Instinct confirmed that the cyber risks facing businesses during 2022 remain severe, with ransomware being the most serious threat to organisations.

In November the Australian Department of Defence admitted that some personal details of Australian military personnel may have been stolen by hackers in a ransomware attack on a private contractor.