Seattle Public Library Ransomware Attack Disrupts Its Entire Online Activity

By Lore Apostol / May 29, 2024

The Seattle Public Library was hit by a severe ransomware attack, which significantly disrupted its technology systems and brought several of the library's online services to a halt until Tuesday. This cyberattack was so impactful that the library had to resort to traditional methods, using paper forms, to lend print books and other physical materials across its 27 locations in Seattle.

The public service declared via a blog post that in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 25, they were preparing to take their systems offline to conduct planned weekend maintenance on a server when they noticed a ransomware attack affecting their tech systems.

According to the announcement, the cybersecurity attack impacted access to online catalog and loaning systems, e-books and e-audiobooks, staff and public computers, the building’s Wi-Fi, and their website, which was offline until Tuesday.

In response to the attack, the library immediately sought the expertise of third-party forensic specialists and notified law enforcement. As a precautionary measure, the public entity decided to take all its systems offline to stop the attack and conduct a thorough assessment of the situation. 

The library is actively investigating the source of the disruption with its external partners to determine the full extent of the cyberattack’s impact and restore full functionality to its systems, focusing on the privacy and security of patron and employee information.

The Seattle Public Library kept these systems offline until their security could be ensured, and the website was up and running again on Wednesday. The actors behind this ransomware attack are unknown, and the Library has yet to announce whether information was stolen.

Similarly, the art auction house Christie’s was hit by a gang called RansomHub and several companies in the healthcare domain have been targeted and paralyzed by cyberattacks in the past years.

For a better user experience we recommend using a more modern browser. We support the latest version of the following browsers: For a better user experience we recommend using the latest version of the following browsers: