The systems of the British newspaper The Guardian have been affected by a “major IT problem,” which The Guardian believes was probably a ransomware attack.
The attack started late on Tuesday and has disrupted some of the organization’s IT infrastructure, according to The Guardian, whose media editor broke the news first.
In a note to staff members, Guardian Media Group CEO Anna Bateson and Editor-in-Chief Katharine Viner stated: “There has been a serious incident which has affected our IT network and systems in the last 24 hours. We believe this to be a ransomware attack but are continuing to consider all possibilities.”
The publisher claimed that as a result, “behind the scenes” functions are being disrupted, and staff members have been instructed to work remotely for the remainder of the week. The business adds that it was “confident” it could still create Thursday’s print newspaper and that internet publishing is largely impacted.
There are still many unknowns surrounding the incident, including how The Guardian’s computers were broken into, whether data was stolen, and whether it was subject to a ransom demand. Typically, ransomware perpetrators steal victim data and then threaten to disclose it if a ransom is not paid.
Furthermore, it’s not known who launched the attack, and no significant ransomware organization has yet to stake a claim to it.
A spokeswoman for The Guardian who declined to give their name when contacted by email did not respond to inquiries.
Cyberattacks on news organizations have become commonplace. Fast Company’s internal systems were hacked in September, allowing malicious push notifications to be sent to Apple News subscribers.
Also confirming that it had been hacked in October was The New York Post. However, the business then asserted that an unauthorized employee was to blame for the “behavior,” but declined to provide what proof the newspaper had that the individual was at fault.