back to article Cybersecurity snafu sends British Library back to the Dark Ages

The British Library has confirmed to The Register that a "cyber incident" is the cause of a "major" multi-day IT outage. The social media mouthpiece for the Library began reporting issues on the morning of October 28, saying its website and services at the St Pancras site in central London, including Wi-Fi access, were …

  1. John_Ericsson

    I hope the spokesperson said it in a whisper.

  2. Andy The Hat Silver badge


    What does it say about modern life when you can't read the BBC News from this morning but can still read documents created 1000 years ago ...

    For my next trick I'll attempt to read a copy of the Doomsday project on laserdisc and then check out a couple of pages of the original Doomsday Book ... Which will be more successful?

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Ironic

      Domesday not Doomsday, though the laser disk version does look more like a doomsday scenario.

  3. rafff

    "open to visitors but is only accepting cash payments"

    So much for the cashless society

  4. Wellyboot Silver badge

    No documents harmed?

    Not so much back to the dark ages , more 'back to the 1980s'

    They still have a paper index don't they?

  5. Phones Sheridan Silver badge

    Tom Scott did a very interesting short video on the British Library a few weeks ago.

    Worth 5 minutes of anyone time

    1. Hairy Airey

      Tom Scott breaks it again

      The curse of the Tom Scott video strikes again! I'm sure it'll drive up views of his video, hopefully inside the British Library when it's all working properly.

      No offence Tom, but it is getting hilarious.

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: Tom Scott did a very interesting short video on the British Library

      Very informative. They must have the biggest porn collection in UK.

      I wonder if that video has resulted in a large volume of 'legal deposits'.

  6. t245t Silver badge

    What could go wrong with VoIP phone run on virtual desktops in the cloud

    > Subsequent updates confirmed phone lines and on-site services in both St Pancras and Yorkshire were down

    Reason the phone lines went down is because they were carried on some VoIP service. So when the Internet goes down, so does the phones.

    > the issue started at around 07:30 on October 28 and was in part due to "major issues" with its VMware ESXi servers "that have made nearly all their VMs unavailable."

    Someone dug-up the fibre line to the cloud farm.

  7. Unep Eurobats

    "London's famous library, home to Magna Carta"

    You can borrow the Magna Carta?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "London's famous library, home to Magna Carta"

      Yes, of course, it’s one of your inalienable rights as a freeman of the land. Or sumfink.

      [Actually: No, you can’t, but you can probably have a look at it, in carefully controlled conditions, special protective gloves and all, if you are doing some appropriate sort of research.]

  8. heyrick Silver badge

    details on the services that remain available can be found via @britishlibrary on X

    And is any of that available without a black screen inviting you to sign up or sign in?

    Ever since that nonsense was introduced, companies sticking their updates on Twitter X got a lot less useful.

    1. Dave559 Silver badge

      Re: details on the services that remain available can be found via @britishlibrary on X

      I absolutely agree that putting public information behind data paywalls is extremely irritating.

      But, while too many organisations still persist with such stupidity, nitter is your friend. You can use one of the public instances that various people have kindly set up, or even host your own.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So unchanged for the religion section then.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll stick to celulose, thank you.

    I recall that librarians were saying that it was more efficient to stick to paper, mainly because of budget issues (being very low in things regarding education), but i guess things like this make you think too about what could go wrong.

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