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Cloud Company Blackbaud Pays Ransomware Operators to Avoid Data Leak

Cloud software provider Blackbaud has admitted that it paid cybercriminals to regain control of data following a ransomware attack in May 2020.

The company, which is known for its fundraising suites aimed at educational institutions and charities, offers a diverse portfolio of management and payment services to help process donations and fundraises.

Last week, the company published a notice on a ransomware attack that it fell victim to in May 2020, claiming that it was able to discover and stop the assault, but not before some data was exfiltrated by the attackers.

“Our Cyber Security team—together with independent forensics experts and law enforcement—successfully prevented the cybercriminal from blocking our system access and fully encrypting files; and ultimately expelled them from our system. Prior to our locking the cybercriminal out, the cybercriminal removed a copy of a subset of data from our self-hosted environment,” the company said.

According to Blackbaud, the attackers did not access credit card data, bank account information or the social security numbers of its customers.

Even so, the company decided to pay the cybercriminals for deleting the data that was exfiltrated during the incident, “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,” the company said.

The company’s public cloud environment, which lies in Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, and most of the company’s self-hosted environment weren’t affected in the security incident.

Blackbaud also mentioned that it has notified the customers who were affected by the attack, but did not provide specific information on how the attackers were able to compromise its systems in the first place.

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