The British Library [1] [2] [3] [4], one of the world’s largest libraries [1], recently experienced a ransomware attack that has caused a major technology outage. This attack has affected services across multiple locations and the library’s website has been offline for nearly three weeks.


The library has confirmed the occurrence of the ransomware attack on October 28. However, they have not yet determined the specific operation behind the attack or disclosed any personal or financial information that may have been compromised [3]. The source of the breach and the motive for the attack remain unknown [3].

To address this incident, the library is currently collaborating with the London Metropolitan Police [2], the National Cyber Security Center [2], and private cybersecurity specialists [2] [4]. They are conducting a thorough investigation to uncover the details of the attack. While efforts are being made to restore services in the coming weeks, some disruption may still persist. The library has implemented protective measures to safeguard its systems [3].

Despite the attack [3], public events at the library will continue as planned, and staff can still be contacted via email [2]. It is worth noting that Comparitech, a cybersecurity firm, has observed an increase in ransomware attacks on government organizations this year [1]. They have recorded 167 attacks so far, compared to 156 in all of 2022 [1].


The ransomware attack on the British Library has had significant impacts, resulting in a major technology outage and the prolonged unavailability of their website. However, the library is actively working with law enforcement and cybersecurity experts to investigate the incident and restore services. While protective measures have been implemented, there may still be ongoing disruption. This incident highlights the growing threat of ransomware attacks on government organizations and the need for robust cybersecurity measures to mitigate future risks.