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Ransomware Attack Causes Disruption at British Newspaper The Guardian

British news organization The Guardian on Wednesday announced that a ransomware attack has been causing disruption to behind-the-scenes services.

British news organization The Guardian on Wednesday announced that a ransomware attack has been causing disruption to behind-the-scenes services.

The 200-year-old media company told staff to work from home after being hit with ransomware on Tuesday night. The Guardian shut down some of its technology infrastructure, with the print newspaper being impacted the most.

“As everyone knows, 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 Guardian Media Group officials said on Wednesday.

According to the company, the online publishing continues unaffected, but the disruption to some internal systems might impact Thursday’s print newspaper.

“We are continuing to publish globally to our website and apps and although some of our internal systems are affected, we are confident we will be able to publish in print tomorrow,” the Guardian said.

While restoration operations are underway, the company has asked staff to work from home for the remainder of the week, without providing an estimation on when systems will be fully restored.

The Guardian has shared no information regarding a possible ransom demand or the ransomware family used in the attack.

The incident reportedly disrupted Wi-Fi access at the company’s headquarters and impacted other shared computer systems as well, forcing staff at the office to work on their mobile devices.

According to security researcher Kevin Beaumont, the incident might have had a broader impact than painted by the company, with the entire internal network at the company being shut down.

“The Guardian outage looks pretty bad, everything in ASN 35825 is offline – they had various on prem systems, VPNs, FTP servers etc that have gone MIA,” Beaumont said.

“The external network links are up, BGP looks fine, but they’ve taken the internal network offline entirely,” the researcher added.

SecurityWeek has emailed the Guardian for an update on the incident.

UPDATE: A Guardian spokesperson told SecurityWeek:

“There has been a serious incident which has affected our IT network and systems. We believe this to be a ransomware attack but are continuing to consider all possibilities.


We are continuing to publish globally to our website and apps and although some of our internal systems are affected, we expect to keep publishing in print. Our technology teams are 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.


We will continue to keep our staff and anyone else affected informed.”

Related: New Zealand Government Hit by Ransomware Attack on IT Provider

Related: Virginia County Confirms Personal Information Stolen in Ransomware Attack

Related: Canadian Supermarket Chain Sobeys Hit by Ransomware Attack

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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