British Library to burn through reserves to recover from cyber attack

The British Library will drain about 40 per cent of its reserves to recover from a cyber attack that has crippled one of the UK’s critical research bodies and rendered most of its services inaccessible.

The London-based institution, which stores nearly 170mn pieces of work ranging from books to sound recordings, was forced offline in October after a “deep and extensive” ransomware attack.

Hackers published hundreds of thousands of stolen files online, including customer and personnel data, after the library refused to pay a £600,000 ransom. But it will now be forced to spend about 10 times that amount rebuilding most digital services at an estimated cost of £6mn-£7mn, according to a person familiar with the matter, consuming a sizeable proportion of its £16.4mn in unallocated reserves.

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