The information below relates to a data security incident involving Blackbaud, Inc., a service provider of the Texas Tech Foundation. Blackbaud was a victim of a data security breach that has affected more than 200 organizations internationally, including organizations in the United States and Texas. Blackbaud notified the Foundation of this breach on July 16, 2020.
On July 16, 2020, we were contacted by Blackbaud, one of the world’s largest providers of customer relationship management services and software for many nonprofit organizations and higher education clients around the world. Company representatives informed us that a Blackbaud service provider had been the victim of a ransomware attack that culminated in May 2020. The cybercriminal was unsuccessful in blocking access to the database involved in the attack. However, the cybercriminal was able to remove a copy of a subset of several of their client’s data. This included information from our Ram and Red Raider communities.
What information was involved?
The Texas Tech Foundation does not share encrypted information—such as Social Security numbers, bank account, credit or debit card information—with Blackbaud.
The Foundation does not provide encrypted information—such as Social Security numbers, bank account, credit or debit card information—to Blackbaud.
The data potentially accessed may have included personal contact information like names, titles, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, and affiliation with the Texas Tech University System, its four component universities, and the Texas Tech Alumni Association. While the Alumni Association operates as a separate entity from the Texas Tech Foundation, any alumni—and, therefore, any Alumni Association members—could be among those impacted by the security breach.
Steps Blackbaud has taken in response
Blackbaud agreed to pay the cybercriminals to delete the information. Blackbaud has undergone a thorough investigation, with the assistance of law enforcement, confirming that no encrypted information was accessible in the attack. Blackbaud is closely monitoring the Internet to verify that no data has been misused.
Steps we have taken in response
We immediately launched our own investigation and have taken the following steps:
- We are notifying affected alumni and donors to make them aware of this breach of Blackbaud’s systems so they can remain vigilant;
- We are working with Blackbaud to understand why there was a delay between it finding the breach and notifying us, as well as what actions Blackbaud is taking to increase its security;
- We are continuing to monitor the situation with Blackbaud to investigate this incident.
Steps you can take in response
We do not believe it is necessary to take any further action at this time, but we want you to be aware of this development. At the time, we are not aware of any instances of fraudulent activity connected to the Foundation’s data. But, out of an abundance of caution, we encourage you to monitor your online and financial activity and report anything suspicious.
For your convenience, the contact information for these credit agencies is below:
For more information
Blackbaud has issued a statement on their website regarding this incident. You can visit their site for more information. https://www.blackbaud.com/securityincident
If you have questions regarding the Foundation’s data related to this incident, please contact Kevin Vaughn, Senior Director for Advancement Information Services, at email@example.com or 806.742.8834.