Labour Party donors caught up in Blackbaud data breach

List of compromised organisations continues to grow amid an ICO investigation

Labour Party data has been compromised by the Blackbaud data breach with information for thousands of donors now reportedly in the hands of cyber criminals.

The political party is among a growing list of organisations that have been affected by the breach, according to ITV News, after cloud provider Blackbaud was hit by ransomware in May.

At least seven educational institutions and a number of other organisations in the UK, US and Canada have been caught up in the hack. All parties involved were notified about the incident on 16 July, almost two months after it happened.

Data pertaining to several years worth of Labour Party donor information has been compromised, according to reports, including personal and confidential information, as well as an analysis that was run by the party about their personal views.

The Labour Party reportedly uses Blackbaud's fundraising and donor management software 'Raiser's Edge', with the party recently advertising a job that required a "good working knowledge" of the software. A Labour Party spokesperson told ITV news: "We have been alerted by one of our suppliers, Blackbaud, that they have suffered a data breach. We have reported the matter to the [UK's Information Commissioner's Office] ICO and are working to establish further facts around this situation. We will take any action necessary in line with our statutory obligations."

125 other organisations had been affected by the breach, according to the ICO, and it has confirmed that it is making enquiries into the incident. The time it took for Blackbaud to notify its customers is likely to come under scrutiny, given the ICO requires companies to do so "without undue delay" – in other words, as soon as possible. Another area of interest is the fact that Blackbaud paid the ransom demands of the hackers on "confirmation" that they would delete their copy of stolen data.

When the breach was first announced The University of York told IT Pro that it was not involved in the decision to pay the ransom.

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