The International Committee of the Red Cross announced it detected a cyber security attack that targeted the data for more than half a million people.
In a news release ICRC said, “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 attack targeted a Switzerland-based firm that is contracted to store data for the Red Cross, CNN reported. The Red Cross said the attack targeted at least 60 of the Red Cross’ national societies around the world.
“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 targeted and compromised,” said Robert Mardini, ICRC’s director-general. “This cyber-attack puts vulnerable people, those already in need of humanitarian services, at further risk.”
As part of the investigation into the hack, the Red Cross has had to temporarily stop a program that reunites families torn apart by violence, migration or other tragedies, NPR reported.
The Red Cross, as part of its statement about the hack, pleaded with the criminals, saying: “Please do the right thing. Do not share, sell, leak or otherwise use this data.”
A former cyberwarfare adviser to the Red Cross told CNN the incident may be one of the biggest and most sensitive breaches of all humanitarian organizations to date.
©2022 Cox Media Group