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St John's Ambulance become victim of a ransomware attack


St John's Ambulance, the first-aid charity, confirmed that it become victim of a ransomware attack that occurred at 9am on Tuesday (i.e. on July 2, 2019). The charity, which offers volunteer medical services, said that the attack temporarily blocked them from accessing the data that the customers had given them at the time of booking the training course.


St John's Ambulance claimed that this ransomware attack didn't affect their operational systems, as it had been resolved inside 30min. of the outbreak. The Inquirer, Computing's sister website, was confirmed by St John Ambulance that no ransom has been paid. St John Ambulance added that its "IT teams worked hard to isolate and resolve the issue as soon as we became aware of it".


The charity is confident that no data has been shared outside the St John Ambulance, but it fessed that data of everybody who have opened an account, attended or booked a training course of St John Ambulance till Feb. 2019 has been affected.


The charity claims that only data which got affected relates to their training course delivery. The data includes names, contact details, invoicing details, courses, costs and, in a few cases, the driving licence data. This does not cover the ambulance operations, the clinical data, the employee data, or the patient data. No passwords or financial data - like credit or debit card details - were taken, and also no records were doctored.


In a statement, St John Ambulance stated that any customers who were affected by this ransomware attack don't require taking any immediate action. St John added that "however, if you work for one of our corporate customers, please pass this email on to the person in your organisation who is responsible for data protection".


St John Ambulance also informed the Charity Commission and the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) about the breach, along with the police. A spokesperson of ICO confirmed that they have received report from the St John's Ambulance and will assess information that was provided.


St John Ambulance conclude that "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".


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