A cyberattack on a Red Cross contactor resulted in the theft of personal data for more than 515,000 people as part of ‘Restoring Family Links’, a program that helps reunite families separated by war, disaster and migration.
The announcement comes from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which says the data has been compiled by at least 60 different National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world.
Although it is unclear what type of cyberattack was carried out against the contractor, the ICRC’s greatest concern is the potential exposure of confidential information belonging to people who are already suffering and who are very vulnerable.
As such, they implore threat actors not to publish, share, sell or use the stolen data.
“Although we don’t know who is responsible for this attack, or why they carried it out, we have this appeal to them,” said Robert Mardini, director general of the ICRC.
“Your actions could potentially cause even more harm and pain to those who have already endured untold suffering. The real people, the real families behind the information you now have are some of the least powerful in the world. Please , do the right thing. Do not share, sell, disclose or otherwise use this data.”
The ICRC says it does not know who carried out the cyberattack on a Swiss company that stores its data and that there is no indication that the data was leaked or shared publicly.
The Restoring Family Links program’s systems and website have been shut down while the ICRC investigates the breach, which they say affects their ability to reunite separated family members.
When operational, the website allows family members to submit requests for assistance in locating missing family members.
BleepingComputer has contacted the Red Cross with questions related to the attack, but has not received a response at this time.
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