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Guardian staff shut out of offices for another three weeks after ransomware attack | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


Guardian staff will be forced to work from home for at least another three weeks as the newspaper struggles to recover from a cyber attack.

Journalists have been told they will not be able to return to the company’s offices in King’s Cross until at least Monday, Jan 23 – more than a month after the company’s systems were crippled by hackers.

In an update to employees, chief executive Anna Bateson said the disruption was continuing.

She wrote: “This is a further update on the serious disruption to our network and IT systems that began before Christmas. As a result of the steps we took to secure our network, a number of key systems have been taken offline and remain unavailable.

“To reduce strain on our networks and help the enterprise tech, ESD and other involved teams focus on the most essential fixes, everyone must work from home until at least Monday 23rd January in the UK, US and Australia, unless you are specifically asked to work from our offices.”

The Guardian closed its offices following the attack on Dec 20. It previously said the disruption was likely to have been caused by ransomware, where hackers shut down computer systems before demanding payment to restore services.

It remains unclear whether a ransom demand has been made. However, it is understood that the incident has not been reported to the National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of GCHQ.

The hack knocked out WiFi systems at the Guardian’s headquarters, while other shared computer systems have also been affected.

However, journalists are still able to publish stories online and access email as normal. Production of the print newspaper has also not been affected.

A Guardian spokesman said: “As we previously announced, the Guardian’s systems have been subject to a serious network disruption. We have been able to keep publishing our journalism digitally and in print, but a number of key IT systems have been affected.

“The work to restore our systems fully is ongoing and will take some weeks. We have asked most staff to work from home for the next three weeks to allow our technical teams to focus on essential technical work.”

The outage will come as a major setback to the publisher amid heightened concerns about cybersecurity.

Earlier this year, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp fell victim to a cyber attack in which hackers gained access to journalists’ emails and documents.

That breach, which affected UK titles The Times and The Sun as well as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post, is believed to have been carried out by China.

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