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British Library investigates system outage following cyber attack

The website and online systems of the British Library are suffering from a major outage after being hit by a cyber attack.

user icon Daniel Croft
Wed, 01 Nov 2023
British Library investigates system outage following cyber attack
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The British Library is one of the largest in the world, containing over 150 million items, 13.5 million of which are printed books.

The outage is affecting access to the library’s public website, as well as online services such as catalogues and digital collections at its locations in Yorkshire and London.

“The British Library is experiencing a major technology outage, as a result of a cyber incident,” said the British Library in a statement posted to X (formerly Twitter).


“This is affecting online systems and services, our website, and onsite services including our reading rooms.”

Issues with The British Library’s systems were first detected when the organisation said its public Wi-Fi was down and it was suffering from technical issues. While the Wi-Fi quickly returned to normal, it said it expected the outage to occur for a number of days.

With the outage still ongoing, the library has said that it has launched an investigation into the incident, engaging the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and additional cyber specialists.

“We are investigating the incident with the support of the NCSC and cyber security specialists,” it added.

At this stage, the physical locations of the British Library remain open, with services such as reading rooms for personal study still available.

Additionally, those who have placed collection item orders on or before 26 October will still be able to collect them. However, manual collection item ordering is very limited and only applies to stored items at St Pancras in London.

Furthermore, the Fantasy: Realms of Imagination exhibition is still running, with tickets still valid. Tickets are also still for sale but only onsite with cash.

The British Library has said that it will update its social media with additional information as it becomes available.

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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