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British Library website offline after ransomware hack | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware | #hacking | #aihp

The British Library. Photo: Shutterstock

The website of the British Library is currently a spartan affair. Alas, it isn’t a rebellion against bloated javascript frameworks and other excesses of the modern web. It’s because they got cybered and have to rebuild most of their digital services from scratch.

We’re experiencing a major technology outage following a cyber-attack affecting our website, online systems and services, and some onsite services. However, our buildings are still open as usual. We anticipate restoring more services in the next few weeks, but disruption to certain services is now expected to persist for several months.

You can still go to the library, including ticketed exhibitions, but anything that needs digital services is out of commission. It’s been going on for weeks; here’s a story in The Guardian from October.

The British Library said on Tuesday it had launched an investigation into the incident with the support of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and other cybersecurity specialists.

A statement said: “The British Library is experiencing a major technology outage, as a result of a cyber incident. This is affecting online systems and services, our website, and onsite services including our reading rooms. We are investigating the incident with the support of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and cybersecurity specialists.”

Most of the site redirects to that holding page, but a blog is still online with a more detailed explanation of what’s gone down.

This was a ransomware attack, by a criminal group known for such activity, and its effects were deep and extensive. Our online systems and services were massively disrupted, our website went down, and we initially lost access to even basic communication tools such as email.

We took immediate action to isolate and protect our network but significant damage was already done: having breached our systems, the attackers had destroyed their route of entry and much else besides, encrypting or deleting parts of our IT estate. They also copied a significant chunk of our data, which they attempted to auction online and, a month later, released most of it onto their site on the dark web.


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