Blackbaud believes your data is safe from further misuse. Do you?

You may have seen a number of headlines from schools and non-profits disclosing that their students or donors’ information was impacted by a May, 2020 ransomware incident at UK software firm,  Blackbaud.

According to Blackbaud’s notice:

Prior to our locking the cybercriminal out, the cybercriminal removed a copy of a subset of data from our self-hosted environment. The cybercriminal did not access credit card information, bank account information, or social security numbers. 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. Based on the nature of the incident, our research, and third party (including law enforcement) investigation, we have no reason to believe that any data went beyond the cybercriminal, was or will be misused; or will be disseminated or otherwise made available publicly. This incident did not involve solutions in our public cloud environment (Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services), nor did it involve the majority of our self-hosted environment. The subset of customers who were part of this incident have been notified and supplied with additional information and resources. We apologize that this happened and will continue to do our very best to supply help and support as we and our customers jointly navigate this cybercrime incident.

I absolutely have no reason to trust that threat actors who exfiltrated and ransomed data wouldn’t save a copy for future misuse.  And apparently, the ACLU shares my distrust.  Because I used to be a member and donate to them, I received a notification from them today. To be honest, until I got their email, I had no idea that my information had been caught up in this incident. Oh well….

But here’s what the ACLU wrote, in part:

Blackbaud believes they have successfully retrieved the stolen data, but we cannot be completely certain this is the case. The ACLU’s contractual agreements have always required Blackbaud to keep our constituent information confidential and to have security procedures in place to minimize breaches.

In all candor, we are frustrated with the lack of information we’ve received from Blackbaud about this incident thus far. The ACLU is doing everything in our power to ascertain the full nature of the breach, and we are actively investigating the nature of the data that was involved, details of the incident, and Blackbaud’s remediation plans.

We are also exploring all options to ensure this does not happen again, including revisiting our relationship with Blackbaud.

I’d also like to know why on earth Blackbaud would believe that the data was destroyed and will not be further misused. Has law enforcement or their consultants told them that these particular threat actors generally keep their word? Which group of threat actors was this, anyway? Some more transparency on Blackbaud’s part would seem to be in order.

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