Cyber attack on Red Cross compromised data of over 500k people

Photo used for illustration purposes only

GENEVA – A cyber attack on the servers hosting information of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) compromised the personal data of more than 515,000 people, the ICRC said in a statement.

“A sophisticated cyber security attack against computer servers hosting information held by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was detected this week,” the ICRC said, according to Sputnik.

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“The attack compromised personal data and confidential information on more than 515,000 highly vulnerable people, including those separated from their families due to conflict, migration and disaster, missing persons and their families, and people in detention. The data originated from at least 60 Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies around the world,” according to the statement.

The ICRC said its most pressing concern following the attack was the potential risks, including confidential information being shared publicly, for people the Red Cross seeks to protect.

“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 targetted and compromised. This cyber attack puts vulnerable people, those already in need of humanitarian services, at further risk,” ICRC director-general Robert Mardini said.

The Red Cross said it has no immediate indications as to who carried out the attack, which targetted an external company in Switzerland the ICRC contracts to store data.

“There is not yet any indication that the compromised information has been leaked or shared publicly,” the ICRC said.