The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which works to alleviate human suffering across the world has joined the long list of NGOs and world leaders to come under attack by cybercriminals.
The Geneva-based international organization has revealed that it suffered a cyberattack that will place a large number of vulnerable people in harm’s way.
Reports indicate that threat actors breached Red Cross servers holding data and managed to gain unauthorized access to the personal information belonging to more than half a million disadvantaged people.
The humanitarian organization pointed out that preliminary investigations have not yielded anything as the hackers behind the brazen attack remain unknown. It went on to point out that the number of people who were affected stands at 515,000, and that includes people separated from their families as a result of war.
In addition, the large number of affected persons are considered to be people that have been displaced by migration and disasters, missing persons and their families, as well as detainees. It turns out that the information was obtained from 60 Red Cross and Red Crescent chapters located across the world.
Cybercriminals Seeking Profit
While commenting on the cyber event, ICRC’s Director General Robert Mardini told The Guardian that the hackers’ actions is feared to worsen the anguish and suffering of victims that need humanitarian care.
In an interesting twist, the ICRC boss appealed to the culprits behind the cyberattack to “do the right thing” by not sharing, leaking, selling or using the data belonging to people hailing from the world’s least privileged regions.
The above statement provides an indication to what the ICRC is suspecting; that the people who pulled off the hack are a bunch of cybercriminals looking to make money off the data through a varierty of means that may include ID theft.
At this point, the organization has clarified that no information has been leaked or shared so far, but maintained that it was highly likely that the information has already been stolen by the yet-to-be-identified hackers.
Further, the ICRC said that the cyberattack forced it to close down systems around its “Restoring Family Links” program that works within refugee protection circles – specifically helping displaced persons identify and reunite with their families in the context of war, natural disasters and other forms of conflict.