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Smithsonian ransomware attack steals information of museum donors

The Smithsonian was not the only organization impacted, with others seeing the same breach. Donors' information is believed to not have been revealed, only stolen.

WASHINGTON — The Smithsonian confirmed that its technology system was hacked by a ransomware attack in May 2020, and information of donors to the museum institution was stolen.

Blackbaud, a third-party vendor that provides fundraising and donor engagement software for the Smithsonian's ventures, notified the museum institution of the attack in July.

The Smithsonian was not the only organization impacted, with others seeing the same breach that it had, according to Smithsonian officials.

In its statement, the Smithsonian said about potential info taken:

"The types of information relating to Smithsonian donors that were potentially impacted by this incident included demographic information such as names, U.S. addresses, phone numbers, and summary of donations. Please note that, we have not received confirmation from Blackbaud that your specific information was actually accessed or acquired by the unknown actor. Furthermore, the incident did not result in the exposure of any credit card information, Social Security Numbers, banking information or other similar high-risk data because the Smithsonian does not collect or store this type of information."

The Smithsonian said Blackbaud assured them the information that was taken has not been shared or disseminated. Blackbaud believes this due to the type of attack the was done on its software system, and it's paying financially to the cybercriminals, plus information it was provided by law enforcement.

"Please know that we take the security of your information very seriously and share your concern about this incident. We will continue to investigate to confirm Blackbaud's assurances. We encourage you to remain vigilant and promptly report any suspicious activity to the proper law enforcement authorities," added the Smithsonian in its statement.

For more information directly from Blackbaud about the incident involving the Smithsonian, click here.

Questions concerning this matter, please contact the Smithsonian at 1-888-498-0912, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time.


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