The International Committee of the Red Cross on Thursday made an appeal to hackers who seized a trove of private data, saying they were willing to speak “directly and confidentially” to those behind the cyberattack.
Hackers seized ICRC data of more than 515,000 vulnerable people, including people who have fled conflict and others in detention, the Geneva-based organization said this week.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the breach, but on Thursday the ICRC urged the attackers to come forward.
“We want to make a humanitarian appeal to those responsible for this data breach, given the enormous potential harm to those among the world’s least powerful (people),” an ICRC spokesman said. “We are willing to communicate directly and confidentially with whoever may be responsible for this operation to provide more information as to the protected status of the data in question.”
The hackers accessed data from at least 60 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies around the world.
There has been no evidence so far that the compromised information has been leaked or put in the public domain. However, the ICRC said its “most pressing concern” was the potential risk that the confidential information could be exposed.
To mitigate the impact of the attack, the ICRC has suspended all access to the compromised computer systems underpinning its Restoring Family Links program, which seeks to reunite separated families.
“We will do our utmost to ensure some business continuity and a resumption of services as soon as possible,” the spokesman said.