Breaching Compassion: Big Issue’s Data Nightmare Strikes Heart of Social Enterprise

Struck by cyber goons, The Big Issue faces a ransomware ruckus—with CEO’s driving license and workers’ passports paraded by the pesky Qilin gang. It’s a digital low blow to a high-minded enterprise.

Hot Take:

Well, if Robin Hood had a twisted, evil twin who stole from the poor to give to… well, themselves, then the Qilin ransomware gang’s latest shenanigan is pretty much on point. Attacking The Big Issue, a street newspaper that helps the homeless, is like pickpocketing Santa—wrong on so many levels. Also, is it just me, or does “550 GB of stolen data” sound like someone’s been downloading way too much bad karma?

Key Points:

  • Qilin ransomware gang claims a 550 GB data heist from The Big Issue’s parent company, including personal info of employees and subscribers.
  • CEO’s driving license and salary deets, along with another CEO’s passport and banking info, have taken a not-so-private tour of the dark web.
  • Financials and subscriber data—including emails and bank details—are doing the spreadsheet samba for all the wrong reasons.
  • The Big Issue Group is scrambling with IT experts, the NCSC, the National Crime Agency, and the Met Police to contain the cyber-chaos.
  • The ICO is on the scene, adjusting their data protection monocle, ready to investigate the blunder.

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When Robin Hood Goes Rogue

Picture this: the beloved street newspaper that gives a leg up to those down on their luck gets a digital swift kick from cyber bandits. The Qilin gang's got 550 GB of The Big Issue's data, and they're not just bragging—they've got receipts, or in this case, photos of all the goodies they've swiped, including some VIP personal info that's more exposed than a streaker at a football match.

Passport to Perniciousness

It's not just the execs getting the VIP treatment in this data dump. If you've ever flashed a smile for a passport photo for The Big Issue, congrats! Your international travel mugshot might just be part of a very unwanted collection. And for the subscribers, there's a chance your bank details are now doing the rounds, making "spreadsheet" a dirty word in your vocabulary.

A Cyber Sequel to "It's a Wonderful Life"

It's the classic tale: The Big Issue, a publication giving a hand to the homeless, is under digital siege, and just like George Bailey, they're about as happy about it as a turkey at Thanksgiving. But they're not giving up. They've called in the cyber cavalry, and they're working to keep the magazine trucking along despite the digital drama.

Regulators Mount Up

The ICO is all over this like white on rice. They're the data protection sheriffs in town, and they've got their eyes on the prize—making sure personal info is treated like the crown jewels rather than yard sale fodder. They're assessing the situation with all the gravity of a cat watching a laser pointer, ready to pounce.

Russian Roulette with Ransomware

And finally, let's talk about the culprits, the Qilin gang. These guys are about as subtle as a bull in a china shop. They've named themselves after a mythical creature, but the only thing mythical here is their sense of morality. Rust and Go are their coding weapons of choice, and they're seemingly as Russian as vodka and Tolstoy, despite the Chinese moniker. They're shaking down The Big Issue hoping for a payday, and they're not above using the ol' leak blog scare tactic to speed things up.

So, there you have it, folks. This cyber soap opera has all the makings of a Hollywood thriller, minus the popcorn and overpriced tickets. Stay tuned to see if our heroes at The Big Issue can turn the digital tables and give these cyber-thieves a run for their money (which, ironically, is all they seem to care about).

Tags: data breach, data protection ICO, financial data leakage, Personal Data Exposure, RaaS cyber threat, ransomware gang Qilin,