Guardian News & Media Ltd., the publisher of the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, has been struck by a suspected ransomware attack.
Details of the suspected ransomware attack were fittingly published by The Guardian, which said that the “incident” began late Tuesday night U.K. time and had affected parts of the company’s technology infrastructure.
The online publishing of The Guardian has not been affected by the attack. However, there is said to have been some disruption to behind-the-scenes services and staff were told to work from home. Guardian News & Media said it was confident it could still produce the print copy of its newspaper on Thursday.
In an email to staff, Guardian Media Group’s chief executive officer Anna Bateson and editor-in-chief Katharine Viner said “as everyone knows, there has been a serious incident which has affected our IT network and systems in the last 24 hours. We believe this to be a ransomware attack but are continuing to consider all possibilities.”
The email added, “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.”
The Register arguably described the situation accurately when it said that a failure to publish the print edition would result in “tears in the quinoa.” The form of ransomware has not been disclosed.
“Based on the currently available information, the alleged ransomware incident does not look like a targeted attack, as the victim will unlikely have a huge budget to pay a ransom,” Dr. Ilia Kolochenko, founder of IT security company ImmuniWeb SA and a member of Europol Data Protection Experts Network, told SiliconANGLE. “However, we cannot exclude that foreign political forces or organized crime are pulling the strings to perfidiously silence the media or put pressure on The Guardian under the false flag of a ransomware attack.”
Karen Crowley, director of solutions at cybersecurity firm Deep Instinct Ltd., commented that “in this case, we’re seeing the internal networks of The Guardian under attack, with reports that access to shared corporate services and financial systems have been affected as well as the office WiFi.”
“Attacks such as this can devastate an organization at all levels, reinforcing the need for solutions to prevent incoming threats before they hit servers,” Crowley added. “Media organizations have a responsibility to implement proactive measures that enable them to stay ahead of attackers.”