20 January 2022

Press statement - ICRC cyberattack

Statement from British Red Cross regarding cyberattack against computer servers hosting information held by ICRC

A British Red Cross spokesperson said:

“A sophisticated cyber security attack against computer servers hosting information held by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was detected on 18 January, 2022. The British Red Cross international family tracing service has been impacted by this breach. We are investigating how this affects our international family tracing service, which helps to reunite families torn apart by armed conflict, disaster, migration and other situations requiring a humanitarian response. Unfortunately, the breach means we've had to temporarily suspend this service.

“We are appalled and extremely concerned that this sensitive humanitarian data would be targeted in this way. An attack on the data of people who are missing makes the anguish and suffering of their families even more difficult to endure.

“We can assure you that British Red Cross and the ICRC are taking this breach extremely seriously. We are working closely with our humanitarian partners worldwide to understand the scope of the attack and take the appropriate measures to safeguard our data now and in the future.”

For anyone who is concerned, you can call our free British Red Cross Support Line, open 10am – 6pm daily on 0808 196 3651.

For anyone who has questions about their data, please contact: dataprotection@redcross.org.uk.

For media enquiries please contact: 
Ewan Watson, ewatson@icrc.org
Crystal Wells, cwells@icrc.org