St John Ambulance hit by ransomware attack

St John Ambulance has revealed that the malicious online attack was resolved within half an hour and that the police and regulators have been informed.

Joe Lepper | 9th Jul 19

St John Ambulance has been hit by a ransomware attack. The charity has reported the incident to the police and regulators the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Charity Commission.

The attack happened at 9:00am on Tuesday 2 July and the issue was resolved within half an hour.

The charity says that the ransomware attack did not affect its operational systems and is confident that data has not been shared outside of St John’s Ambulance. No customer passwords were stored in the affected database.

However, the attack did mean that the charity was temporarily blocked from accessing the affected system.

Affected data include names and provided details of those booking and attending courses as well as invoicing details. Those affected are anyone who has opened an account, booked or attended a course until February 2019.

St John Ambulance has said there is no need for users to cancel or change their bank account details as any care payments for course bookings are processed by Barclaycard SmartPay and not stored with the charity.

Ransomware blocks access

A ransomware attack is a form of malicious software that gains access to computer files and systems and blocks access to users.

“The only data that has been affected relates to our training course delivery. It does not cover supplies, events, ambulance operations, volunteering, volunteer, data, employee data, clinical data or patient data,” said a statement by the charity.

It added: “We work as hard as we can to protect our data systems from these types of attacks and employ a range of third party partners and cyber-crime solutions to continually update our protection.”