The international humanitarian organization Red Cross announced yesterday that it had been the victim of a massive cyberattack that resulted in the theft of confidential information for over 515,000 “very vulnerable people” participating in the “Restoring Family Links” program.

The People Affected by the Red Cross Attack

Restoring Family Links (RFL) is a program of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement that includes initiatives to prevent separation and disappearance, search for missing people, restore and maintain communication between family members separated by armed conflicts, tragedies, or migration, and shed light on the fate of individuals reported missing.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the information was compiled by at least 60 different Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies around the world.

While the exact nature of the cyberattack that affected the organization is unknown, the ICRC’s main concern is the potential divulgence of personal data of individuals who are already suffering and extremely vulnerable.

For this reason, the International Committee of the Red Cross is asking the attackers not to make the stolen information public, share, sell, or use it.

While we don’t know who is responsible for this attack, or why they carried it out, we do have this appeal to make to them.

Your actions could potentially cause yet more harm and pain to those who have already endured untold suffering. The real people, the real families behind the information you now have are among the world’s least powerful. Please do the right thing. Do not share, sell, leak, or otherwise use this data.


ICRC declared that they have no idea who carried out the cyberattack on the Swiss organization that stores their data. Also, there are no signs that the stolen information has been leaked or made publicly available.


While the ICRC began investigating the attack, which they state is interfering with their activities that bring together separated family members, the Restoring Family Links program’s systems and website have been shut down.


When the website will be up and running again, family members will be able to submit requests for assistance in finding their missing relatives.

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