On July 16, 2020 the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism CUNY Foundation was notified by their vendor, Blackbaud, of a ransomware attack that took place in February – May of 2020. During this incident, cybercriminals obtained copies of several databases stored on Blackbaud’s servers with the purpose of extorting a ransom. Some of this data may have included alumni and donor contact information, as well as additional details about their relationships with Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism CUNY Foundation, such as philanthropic giving and event attendance.
Blackbaud, which is one of the largest financial and fundraising software providers in the world, has assured us that no credit card data, bank account information, or social security numbers were compromised as part of this breach. Furthermore, no usernames or passwords were compromised. In working with third-party security services as well as US law enforcement, Blackbaud believes that all illegally accessed copies of the data have been destroyed. Nonetheless, Blackbaud has committed to continuing to monitor the web for any signs of the stolen data. Further information about this incident can be found at https://www.blackbaud.com/securityincident.
We sincerely regret any concerns this data breach may have caused you. The Newmark J-School, and the Foundation, take the protection of your personal data seriously and we work to ensure that we are adhering to the highest standards of data collection and data retention for our donors, alumni and campus constituents. While we recognize that there is no evidence that any of the impacted data will be misused, it is important to remain both vigilant, and aware of updates related to how data is secured.
There is no action required on your part. We want to emphasize again that Blackbaud has assured us that no credit card, bank account information, or social security numbers were compromised. However, you may want to review your account statements and credit reports, and report any suspicious activities. For more information please see the CUNY Data Security Resources page.