Cancer Research UK targeted by Russian hackers

08 Oct 2018 News

Cancer Research UK has been targeted by Russian hackers, according to reports appearing in national newspapers this weekend. 

According to reports by the Daily Telegraph and then by the Daily Mail, said that members of Magecart, an anonymous Russian group of cybercriminals, targeted the customers of CRUK online shop in 2016. 

RiskIQ, a cybersecurity consultancy, said the group “tried to steal the card details of people in the UK who had brought items through the cancer charity’s online gift shop”. 

According to the Daily Telegraph: “Cancer Research UK runs an online shop where customers can buy items including skin treatment lotions and bandanas for chemotherapy patients. 

“The hackers planted malicious code into Cancer Research UK’s website, which was designed to siphon off the credit card information of people who made purchases through the site.”

A spokeswoman for the charity confirmed that CRUK shops had been hacked in June 2016, but said no credit card information had been stolen. 

She also provided a statement from Nigel Armitt, chief financial officer at CRUK, which said: “We advised customers who might have been affected to contact their bank as a preventative measure, so they could be advised if any additional action needed to be taken.  

“The online store services were immediately disabled to ensure the exposure was limited and a subsequent investigation conducted by a third-party firm confirmed that there were no supporters impacted by the event. 

“The investigation of this incident and its containment was our highest priority.

“Our life-saving work is only possible thanks to public support. We take online data protection and cyber security extremely seriously.

“We reported the incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office, who were fully apprised of the situation and took no further action.”

CRUK was one of a number of UK-based companies and organisations targeted by the same group, which included British Airways and Ticketmaster. 

The ICO has been contacted for a comment. 

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