Ransomware gang attacks the Big Issue, a street newspaper that supports the homeless


The Big Issue, a UK street newspaper known for providing legitimate income to homeless people by paying them as salespeople to distribute the magazine, has confirmed that it has been hit by a cyber incident.

The confirmation follows the company’s listing on the Qilin ransomware gang’s darknet extortion site on Sunday, alongside claims that the gang stole 550 gigabytes of confidential data, including files related to business operations and personal.

In a statement sent to Recorded Future News, the company’s managing director Paul Cheal confirmed that Big Issue Group was the victim of a cyber incident last week.

“Upon becoming aware of this, we took immediate action to restrict access to our systems, working with external IT security experts, and the investigation into the incident is ongoing,” Cheal said.

“Thanks to the proactive measures taken, we have been able to begin to restore our systems and are operating with limited disruption. The publication and distribution of Big Issue magazine are not impacted by this incident.

The big problem describe presents itself as a social enterprise that helps “each seller run their own mini-business, buying and selling the Big Issue magazine each week”. New sellers receive five free magazines, priced at £4, and can purchase additional magazines for £2.

The incident comes amid a surge in ransomware attacks targeting UK businesses in recent years. According to incident trend data According to information released by the Information Commissioner’s Office, ransomware attacks against UK organizations have increased year on year since records began.

The latest incident follows a parliamentary committee recently accusing the British government of stick your head in the sand on the “significant and imminent” national cyber threat posed by the criminal ecosystem. The committee particularly complained about the lack of funding for law enforcement to engage in more disruption operations.

These disruptive operations are bearing fruit. A recent takedown carried out by the National Crime Agency (NCA) shut down the notorious LockBit gangwhich has reportedly been linked to more ransomware attacks than any other criminal group.

Cheal acknowledged that “some data related to our organization was published on the dark web by the perpetrators of this incident.” The chief executive said the social enterprise was working with an external IT expert, alongside the National Cyber ​​Security Centre, the NCA and the Metropolitan Police, to deal with the attack.

“Additionally, we have notified the relevant regulators and would like to thank our staff, partners and suppliers for their patience while our investigation continues,” Cheal said.

Beyond the financial harm that ransomware attacks can cause victims, research from the Royal United Services Institute has shown that detailed the “significantly overlooked” psychological impact on staff and others involved in responding to an incident – ​​including leaving small business owners feeling suicidal.

“This is a criminal act against our social activities and the causes we defend. We exist to support those who live at the highest point of poverty, who face barriers to opportunity,” Cheal said.

“Our staff continue to help our suppliers earn a living by selling the Big Issue magazine, while providing frontline support to suppliers by giving them access to advice and services, while also making social impact loans available to available to social enterprises and other organizations we work with. . Ensuring we continue to fulfill our mission of changing lives through business.

Get more information with the

Future saved

Intelligence cloud.

Learn more.

Leave a comment