St John Ambulance hit by ransomware

First aid charity says the attack was quickly ended and no personal data stolen

Hackers have turned their sights on one of the UK's most well-known health charities earlier this week, it has been revealed, in an attempt to extort money by locking their systems.

St John Ambulance, a charity that specialises in first aid delivery and training, said that on 2 July at 9.00am it was hit by a ransomware attack.

In a statement emailed to customers and posted to its website, the organisation said the incident only lasted an hour and while it was temporarily blocked from accessing certain booking information the charity is "confident that data has not been shared outside St John Ambulance".

Advertisement - Article continues below

"The only data that has been affected relates to our training course delivery. It does not cover supplies, events, ambulance operations, volunteering, volunteer, data, employee data, clinical data or patient data," it said.

It also told customers: "You don't need to take any immediate action. However, if you work for one of our corporate customers, please pass this email on to the person in your organisation who is responsible for data protection."

St John Ambulance also noted it's followed its legal obligation to inform the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and has also contacted the Charity Commission and the police.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Independent security analyst Graham Cluley said in a blog post: "My reading of this is that St John Ambulance did not have to pay hackers a ransom to recover access to the encrypted data, but instead were able to put in place emergency recovery plans to restore from unaffected backup systems. That's in marked contrast to ransomware attacks that have hit American cities in recent weeks which have resulted in extortionists being paid over a million dollars.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"The news that St John Ambulance had calmly resolved the incident within half an hour seems pretty impressive to me, and together with the transparency they show in their disclosure will hopefully reassure those who deal with the charity. If only all organisations and companies could put themselves in a recovery position so confidently."

Featured Resources

Preparing for long-term remote working after COVID-19

Learn how to safely and securely enable your remote workforce

Download now

Cloud vs on-premise storage: What’s right for you?

Key considerations driving document storage decisions for businesses

Download now

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Transforming productivity

Solutions that facilitate work at full speed

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/security/29204/how-can-you-protect-your-business-from-crypto-ransomware
Security

How can you protect your business from crypto-ransomware?

4 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/laptops/29190/how-to-find-ram-speed-size-and-type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

24 Jun 2020
Visit/cloud/356260/the-road-to-recovery
Sponsored

The road to recovery

30 Jun 2020
Visit/business-strategy/it-infrastructure/356258/the-growing-case-for-it-flexibility
Sponsored

The growing case for IT flexibility

30 Jun 2020