Guardian newspaper hit by suspected ransomware attack

The Guardian news organization has been hit by a serious hacking incident, which the company believes to be a ransomware attack. The staff has been told to work from home for now.

The incident began late on Tuesday night and has affected several parts of the company’s technology infrastructure, the Guardian said in a statement, with staff told to work from home.

The suspected attack has debilitated the Guardian’s internal networks, knocking out Wi-Fi connection in buildings and access to shared corporate services and financial systems.

There has allegedly also been some disruption to behind-the-scenes services. They are not specified.

Online publishing is largely unaffected, with stories continuing to be written and published on the Guardian website and app. The company also said it was confident it could still produce Thursday’s print newspaper.

News organizations around the world have been regular targets for cyberattacks both by criminals and nation-states. For example, in mid-October, some German newspapers had their printing systems crippled by a ransomware attack.

Attacks of this kind involve hackers gaining access to a computer system and then making demands to restore services.

“We believe this to be a ransomware attack but are continuing to consider all possibilities,” the Guardian Media Group chief executive, Anna Bateson, and the editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, told staff.

“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. 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.”

Ransomware is one of the most damaging types of malware, causing billion-dollar disasters every year. For businesses and individuals alike, a ransomware infection can mean losing irreplaceable files and spending weeks recovering computers.

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