Western data impacted by third-party ransomware attack
The campus of Western University is seen in London, Ont. on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (Bryan Bicknell / CTV News)
MIDDLSEX CENTRE, ONT. -- Western University says a provider they work with, Blackbaud, has paid a ransom to retrieve information compromised in a data breach.
In an email sent Friday afternoon to alumi, donors and other organizations connected to Western, the university said the information involved could include names, birth dates, contact information and donations.
However, the statement added financial information was not impacted, “Social insurance, credit card and banking data is not maintained in Western's Blackbaud database and therefore did not form part of the data breach.”
Blackbaud helps organizations like universities and other non-profits manage customer relations information.
The company paid a ransom for the data, and says it confirmed copies had been destroyed. It has also hired an external company to monitor the web for signs of breached data.
Western was just one of the universities involved in the breach and has temporarily suspended the use of Blackbaud as it investigates.
If any information has been compromised, those involved can expect to be contacted by the university, but Western recommends people watch for any suspicious activity and report it.
Anyone with questions can contact Western at: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are reports Fanshawe College also uses the program, but there is no word on whether their data was affected in the breach.