The headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva was the target of a cyberattack this week. The attack targeted the aid organization’s servers, where data and confidential information of more than 515,000 refugees and other vulnerable people were stored. The Dutch Red Cross is investigating whether data from the Dutch branch was also on the servers.
The Red Cross reveals the cyber attack in a press statement.
Top man: ‘Please don’t sell the stolen data’
The servers, which are managed by an external company in Switzerland, contained privacy-sensitive data of more than half a million people who are looking for relatives after they have been lost due to a disaster, conflict or detention. The information comes from at least 60 Red Cross Societies worldwide. The Red Cross is very concerned because of its size. “A cyberattack on data from people who are missing will only make the suffering for their relatives worse,” said Robert Mardini, head of the International Red Cross.
The director is stunned that humanitarian information is the target of a cyber attack. According to him, this cyber attack puts vulnerable people even further at risk. It is unknown who is responsible for the attack or why it took place. Mardini makes a moral appeal to the perpetrators not to sell the stolen data. “This action could cause even more pain and suffering to people who have already been through a lot. Please do the right thing. Do not share, sell or leak this data.”
The head of the International Red Cross