British Library suffers major outage due to cyberattack

Pierluigi Paganini November 01, 2023

Last weekend, the British Library suffered a cyberattack that caused a major IT outage, impacting many of its services.

The British Library is facing a major outage that impacts the website and many of its services following a cyber attack that took place on October 28.

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s largest libraries. It is located in London and houses a collection of over 150 million items, including books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, magazines, music recordings, and films.

The outage also affects some on-site services, including the public Wi-Fi.

The library launched an investigation into the incident with the help of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and other experts.

“We’re experiencing a major technology outage as a result of a cyber incident. This is affecting our website, online systems and services, and some onsite services including public Wi-Fi. We’re currently investigating the incident with @NCSC and other specialists.” reads a tweet published by the library.

The library announced that its buildings remain fully open and the following services are available onsite:

  • Reading Rooms (for personal study)
  • any collection items ordered on or before 26 October
  • very limited, manual collection item ordering in London via our printed catalogues, for items stored in St Pancras only.

The library did not disclose technical details about the attack, at this time it is unclear if threat actors had access to the information of its employees and customers.

On October 28 another library, the Toronto Library announced they were addressing a cyber security incident.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, British Library)

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