The recent cyberattack, targeting 515,000 humanitarian figures , was an insult to humanity, threatening those already suffering from the effects of war or disaster. They belong to people separated from their families due to conflicts, migration and natural disasters, missing persons, detainees and their families. This data belongs to people from all over the world, entrusting their personal information to a humanitarian network, whose help they desperately need.

This is not a responsibility we have taken lightly. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has long been aware of the danger that these figures could one day be the target of such an attack. We have implemented a number of improvements in recent years due to the growing threat of cybersecurity attacks and are working with trusted partners to maintain high standards of data and system protection.

But the attack shows that these systems are not immune to complex cyber operations. And just as humanitarian workers must not be the target of the parties to a conflict, humanitarian data must also be respected and used only for humanitarian purposes.

Cyberattacks often mean lost profits or disclosed credit card information. In this case, this data could potentially be used to cause harm to extremely vulnerable people, including unaccompanied children. This attack violates their privacy, security and right to receive humanitarian protection and assistance.

The attack also damaged the ability of our global network to find missing people and reunite families. A recent example is the recent volcanic eruption and tsunami-induced floods in the Pacific island nation of Tonga. Our work to help concerned families and missing people has been hampered. The same is true of our search for people in conflict zones, such as Afghans fleeing violence.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement strives to be the best that humanity has to offer. We help people in the worst of circumstances and protect their dignity. This attack is detrimental to the vital work we are contributing to.

To the people whose data has been hacked: we know that you have entrusted us with personal information and details about traumatic events in your life. We want you to know that we are doing our best to restore the services we offer around the world. We will work hard to maintain your trust so that we can continue to serve you.


Robert Mardini - Director General of the ICRC; Prof. Dr. Krassimir Gigov, Director General of the Bulgarian Red Cross


See the full statement in the attached file