Although the online publishing at the Guardian remained unaffected, some of the company’s internal technology infrastructure was affected.
One of the most-read newspapers in the world, the Guardian, was hit by what is suspected to be a ransomware attack on Tuesday night. The London, England-based news organisation said that they believed it to be a ransomware attack, “but are continuing to consider all possibilities.”
Ransomware attacks are conducted by threat actors who hack into an organisation’s computer systems, encrypt the important files and then demand a ransom to restore the services or unlock the files. If the demand is not met, the data is leaked online in most cases.
Although the online publishing by the organisation has remained unaffected with stories continuing to be written and published on the Guardian website and app, some of the company’s internal technology infrastructure was affected.
They also told the staff to work from home, following the routine used during the pandemic. The Guardian Media Group chief executive, Anna Bateson, and the editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, told the staff:
“We will continue to keep our staff and anyone else affected informed. 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 keeping our core systems available for colleagues.”
Journalists, media outlets and new organisations have become a much more frequent target for cyber attacks as compared to the past as they play a vital role in forming a public outlook and a national view. Media houses command a significant soft power to retain and spread their influence by advocating their agenda, gathering public opinion and shaping it.
Therefore, it has become more important than ever before for journalists and news organisations to employ the best cyber security practices and protect themselves from breach campaigns.