DUBAI: British news media company The Guardian has been hit by a “serious IT incident” suspected to be part of a ransomware attack, the company said.
The incident, which began late on Tuesday night, has disrupted some “behind-the-scenes services” and affected parts of the company’s technology infrastructure, the paper said.
Online publishing, however, has been mostly unaffected with The Guardian continuing to publish stories on its website and mobile app. It also said that it was “confident” it could print Thursday’s print edition.
Most staff, with a few exceptions, have been asked to work from home for the rest of the week.
“Our technology teams have been working to deal with all aspects of this incident, with the vast majority of our staff able to work from home as we did during the pandemic,” Anna Bateson, CEO of Guardian Media Group and the editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, told staff.
Cyber-attacks have been common in the newspaper and publishing industry in recent years. At the beginning of this year, Norwegian media company Amedia suffered a cyber-attack that shut down its computer systems, preventing the company from printing newspapers.
In October, a ransomware attack on German newspaper Heilbronn Stimme crippled the newspaper’s printing system, and in 2018, a cyber-attack caused printing and delivery disruptions to leading US newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun.
“News organizations have become a regular target for cyber-attacks this year, and these attacks often have even more damaging effects on the companies targeted,” Jake Moore, global cyber-security adviser at security software company ESET, told the BBC.
“Ransomware can often bring all departments to a standstill, so it is fortunate that despite this attack the organization will still see some key areas working as usual,” he said.