Macmillan hit by Cyber Attack

Macmillan have been forced to shut down all of their IT systems to prevent the spread of a ransomware attack.

The publishing giant have been transparent, telling clients that they have temporarily lost access to their systems, and that their offices are closed. Media outlets were informed that the cyberattack had led to files becoming encrypted, leading to the belief that this was a ransomware attack. However, so far, none of the notorious ransomware gangs have claimed responsibility for the cyber-attack. According to reports, the ransomware attack hit Macmillan, one of largest publishers in the US, on 25th June; it also affected the UK arm of the company, known as Pan Macmillan.

While the encryption of the data suggests this was a ransomware attack, Macmillan have declined to give any further details, only saying that they had taken their systems offline to prevent the attack from spreading, and that “we are working diligently with specialists to investigate the source of this issue, understand its impact on our systems, and to restore full functionality to our networks as soon as possible. Customers and other third-party partners may notice that certain systems are unavailable while these efforts are underway”

It remains to be seen if this is the last we’ll hear of the incident. Increasingly, cybercriminals are focussing their efforts on extorting companies, threatening to leak their data unless they pay the ransom. For a company such as Macmillan, this may well have been the intention.