The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been hit by an advanced cyber attack. Hackers have seized data from more than 515,000 “extremely vulnerable people”. Some of them were fleeing conflicts, the organization reports on its website.
It is also about information about people who are looking for relatives whom they have lost sight of due to a disaster, conflict situation or detention. The international aid organization has no idea who carried out the attack.
The data comes from at least sixty Red Cross associations worldwide. It seems that the information has not yet spread further.
The ICRC is very concerned about the potential risks to people it is trying to protect if the confidential information is made public. “This cyberattack puts vulnerable people, who already need humanitarian aid, at risk.”
ICRC stunned: ‘don’t share, sell or leak data’
The attack on the information makes the fear and suffering of the families even more difficult to bear, says Robert Mardini, head of the ICRC.
“We are all appalled and stunned that this humanitarian information was targeted and compromised.”
Mardini appeals to the person who carried out the attack. “This action can cause even more pain and suffering to people who have already had to go through a lot. Please do the right thing. Do not share, sell or leak this data.”
As a result of the attack, the ICRC is forced to shut down the computer systems on which the data is stored. The organization is looking for a way to continue doing its job.