Cyber security incident: How could it affect me?
Update: 24 June 2022
On January 18 we determined that the personal data on more than 515,000 people worldwide was accessed by hackers. They did so through a cyber-attack on the servers used to store the information that Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world, along with our team, have collected in order to help people affected by armed conflict, natural disasters and migration.
These servers held the personal data that people have provided to us specifically to help them find and reconnect with their families, to learn what happened to missing relatives, and to ensure dignity for those who have died without their loved ones by their side. We want to stress that not everyone who has engaged with these services and has shared information with us were affected.
We understand that it might sound worrying to hear this news and might raise questions on whether you could be one of the people impacted. We are doing everything we can to get in touch directly with those people whose personal data has been accessed.
If you haven't heard from us and are concerned, we encourage you to reach out to your local Red Cross or Red Crescent society or the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office in your country.
We have also published this Questions & Answers article, which provides more details on the attack.
What does this mean for me?
This means that someone outside of the Red Cross and Red Crescent network could have accessed the personal data that you, your family or your loved ones have shared as part of our Restoring Family Links service, which includes our tracing services and through our Family Links website.
You might have provided this information to us to open a tracing request to find a lost relative, to send or receive a Red Cross Message between you and your loved ones, to access our trace the face services, or for other needs.
From the analysis we have carried out so far, it doesn't appear that any of the personal data accessed has been deleted or lost.
We are here to listen to any concerns you might have and to answer your questions. You can get in contact by reaching out to your local Red Cross or Red Crescent Society or the ICRC office in your country.
What should I do if I think my data might have been accessed in the cyber-attack?
If you haven't heard from us and are concerned, we encourage you to reach out to your local Red Cross or Red Crescent society or the ICRC office in your country. Here is a list of contact details. We also developed a question and answers article for people who have been affected with more information. We know you entrusted us with personal information and details about often traumatic events in your lives. This is not a responsibility we take lightly and we will work hard to maintain your trust so we can continue to serve you.
What actions have been taken since the cyber security incident?
We took the compromised servers offline immediately to prevent any further incidents. they have now all been relaunched with security enhancements after tests were conducted. The tools are not yet functioning to their full capacity and teams continue to work towards full resumption of all systems.
We have detailed the actions we have taken on this website article. If you have any specific questions or would like to know whether your data could have been accessed, please contact your local Red Cross or Red Crescent Society or the ICRC office in your country.
Will you still be able to help me?
Absolutely, we are here to support you. Our Restoring Family Links services continue to provide support to whoever needs it. If you are looking for support, please visit our Family Links website.
As always, you can contact your local Red Cross or Red Crescent Society or the ICRC office in your country for any enquiries.
What should I do if I think my data might have been accessed in the cyber security incident?
The best thing to do is to get in contact with your local Red Cross or Red Crescent Society or the ICRC office in your own country and we will be able to let you know if you have been affected.
How could the data be used to harm me or my loved ones?
We recommend you beware of any suspicious emails, text messages or other communications claiming to be from the Red Cross or Red Crescent and / or asking for personal information.
If you receive any communications that seem concerning to you, we suggest you delete these immediately and do not click on any of the links and / or share these with anyone. We also encourage you to contact your local Red Cross or Red Crescent Society or the ICRC office in your country and let them know.
We want to reiterate that all the services we provide are free. We never ask for any form of payment for the support we provide.
I still feel concerned. What else can I do?
We understand that this situation might feel worrying for you, and we are here to listen and try to alleviate your concerns. We encourage you to reach out to us and we can talk through some of the options, including if you would like to withdraw your data.