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Major Library Vendor Disrupted by Ransomware Attack

A cyber attack took out a server at Baker & Taylor, a major library books, software and service provider working with the likes of the New York Public Library. The company is still working to restore its systems.

A screenshot of Baker & Taylor's website, focused on a notice explaining the cyberattack and company response efforts
Baker & Taylor's website hosts an announcement about the ransomware attack
An apparent ransomware attack is disrupting the systems at a major seller of library books and software, including the system library clients use to order books.

North Carolina-based Baker & Taylor deems itself “the largest supplier of library content, software and services to public and academic libraries in the U.S.,” according to its website. It also sells to libraries in the U.S. and abroad, as well as offers various services to small and mid-sized publishers.

The firm experienced a server outage over the Aug. 20-21 weekend, the company explained on Twitter.

“Title Source 360 [its book ordering system,] EDI and the phone systems at our offices and service centers remain offline,” Baker & Taylor said in an Aug. 24 tweet.

The New York Public Library (NYPL) is one of Baker & Taylor’s customers.

“The Library has been communicating with representatives at Baker & Taylor regarding the recent ransomware attack and we have appreciated their response and attention to the situation,” Amy Geduldig, NYPL assistant director of public relations, told Government Technology in an email. “While we expect to experience delays in the purchasing of some materials as a result of the situation, the Library has been able to work with other vendors to further support our activities.”

As of Aug. 30, Baker & Taylor said it had finished “remediating our systems and ensuring they are sanitized,” it said on its site. Completing this step allows the firm to now turn to the work of restoring systems and operations.

The company predicted that system disruptions would continue throughout this week.

The firm said it was “hopeful” that in coming days it would be able to estimate the timelines for each system’s and application’s recovery.

This isn’t the first ransomware attack to hit the book sector recently, either. Macmillan — one of the so-called “big five” publishing houses — reportedly suffered a cyber attack in late June 2022 that encrypted files and prompted the publisher to take its systems offline.
Jule Pattison-Gordon is a staff writer for Government Technology. She previously wrote for PYMNTS and The Bay State Banner, and holds a B.A. in creative writing from Carnegie Mellon. She’s based outside Boston.