Homeless charity Crisis suffers data breach through software provider Blackbaud

The email states that though Blackbaud was able to detect and stop the attack by cybercriminals, data such as names, addresses and phone numbers were exposed. "Prior to our locking the cyber-criminal out, the cyber-criminal removed a copy of a subset of data from our self-hosted environment", Blackbaud said in a statement on their website. The company asserts that no credit card, bank account, or social security information was stolen by the hackers. The hackers targeted the company in May, but the universities were informed in July.

The university uses a company called Blackbaud for some of its IT services - and they've been subject to a "ransomware" attack.

It was further criticised for paying off the hackers ransom amount that has not been disclosed, without talking to the universities or the authorities.

"Because protecting our customers" data is our top priority, we paid the cybercriminal's demand with confirmation that the copy they removed had been destroyed'.

While this is not illegal, the universities have not appreciated this step as they claim to have been kept in the dark about this whole situation.

Blackbaud, whose headquarters are based in SC, declined to provide a complete lists of those impacted, saying it wanted to "respect the privacy of our customers".

Blackbaud has also claimed that majority of its customers were not affected.

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Some affected institutions, including the University of London, University of York, Oxford Brookes and Ambrose University have written to their former students, faculty and donors about the security incident warning them that their data may have been compromised in the breach.

Aberystwyth University has reassured current students and alumni that "no bank account or credit card details were taken" in the attack.

Aberystwyth University confirmed it is "urgently investigating" as it says it "take data security extremely seriously".

The University of North Florida Foundation (UNFF) has suffered a ransomware attack to the database storing alumni and donor data, according to a July 23 email sent by Ann McCullen, the Vice President of University Development and Alumni Engagement. "No action is required by our alumni community at this time, although, as ever, we recommend that everyone remains vigilant". All financial information held by Blackbaud is encrypted and we are confident that this has not been breached.

The BBC reports that the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), as well as the Canadian data authorities, were only informed about the breach last weekend, which is much later than when Blackbaud originally uncovered the threat.

"The University of York has reported an incident to us, and we will be making inquiries".

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