Report: “British Library Restores Access to Online Collection Following Ransomware Attack”
From The Record:
The British Library — the national library of the United Kingdom and an archive of millions of books and manuscripts — began restoring access to its online catalog on Monday following a ransomware attack last October.
The online system, for now, will be the only way to see the rarest books, maps, journals and music scores held by the library. The system for taking those physical objects into reading rooms is not yet running again.
Keating said that otherwise, “the majority of the Library’s key special collections – the archives, manuscripts and other unique items that are only available here” will be accessible from this week in an on-site capacity.
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Rhysida, a known ransomware group, claimed responsibility for the attack on 31 October. In November, the library confirmed some employee data had been stolen in the attack and was being offered for sale on the dark web.
The library’s main catalogue, an important tool for researchers around the world, has been inaccessible online since the hack.
Keating said: “Its absence from the internet has been perhaps the single most visible impact of the criminal cyber-attack … and I want to acknowledge how difficult this has been for all our users.”
Earlier this month, the Financial Times claimed that the library would be forced to spend up to £7m – about 40% of its reserves – on rebuilding its digital services. The FT said the library had refused to pay a £600,000 ransom.
Keating said: “Recent press speculation about the possible cost of the recovery programme was premature as we have yet to confirm what the full costs will be.”
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.