Red Cross Hacked - Half A Million Victims At Risk

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has disclosed a cyber attack on its data servers that compromised confidential information on more than half a million vulnerable people. 

The Geneva-based agency announced thet the breach by unknown intruders affected data on more than 515,000 people “including those separated from their families due to conflict, migration and disaster, missing persons and their families, and people in detention”.

Among the stolen data were names, locations, and contact information. The organisation said the data originated from at least 60 Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies around the world and forced it to shut down systems around its Restoring Family Links programme, which aims to reunite family members separated by conflict, disaster or migration.

The threat actor is currently unidentified. However, it is understood that they executed the attack on a Switzerland-based contractor that stores the non-profit's data. There are no indications that the data has been leaked publicly.
“A sophisticated cyber security attack against computer servers hosting information held by the was detected this week,” it said in a statement. 

The ICRC offered no immediate indication as to who might have carried out the attack, although it did say that the hackers targeted an external company located in Switzerland that the ICRC contracts to store data. The data originated from at least 60 Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies around the world.

There was no evidence so far that the compromised information had been leaked or put in the public domain. The ICRC said its “most pressing concern” was the “potential risks that come with this breach, including confidential information being shared publicly - for people that the Red Cross and Red Crescent network seeks to protect and assist, as well as their families”.

“An attack on the data of people who are missing makes the anguish and suffering for families even more difficult to endure. We are all appalled and perplexed that this humanitarian information would be targeted and compromised,” said the ICRC director general, Robert Mardini. "While we don't know who is responsible for this attack, or why they carried it out, we do have this appeal to make to them... Please do the right thing. Do not share, sell, leak or otherwise use this data." An ICRC spokesman, said the organisation had never before experienced a hack of similar scale.

ICRC:      Guardian:   Al Jazeera:    The Register:      Portswigger:     BBC

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