On July 16, 2020, Blackbaud, a U.S. based cloud computing provider and one of the world’s largest providers of education administration, fundraising, and financial management software, notified users of its services that it had suffered a ransomware attack in May 2020 in relation to personal data stored on their servers. Numerous colleges, universities, foundations, and other non-profits across the U.K., U.S. and Canada were affected.
Blackbaud’s handling of the attack has raised some questions. Blackbaud has confirmed in a statement on its website that they paid the cyber-criminal’s ransom demand in return for confirmation that the stolen data had been destroyed. Paying ransom demands is not unlawful, but it goes against the official advice issued by many law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. In addition, Blackbaud has faced criticism for taking many weeks to inform its customers of the breach.