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Como Zoo donors informed of data breach

The incident reportedly involves a ransomware attack on Blackbaud, the database vendor that handles Como's donor list.
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ST PAUL, Minn. — A ransomware attack on a vendor that handles Como Zoo's donor database may have resulted in a personal information breach.

Como Friends sent a message to donors about the attack on Blackbaud, which reportedly took place between February 7 and May 20, 2020. The letter from Como Friends President Jackie Sticha says the file that was removed from the database may have contained donor contact information, and a history of that person's relationship with Como Friends detailing donation dates and amounts.

On its own website Blackbaud says cyberteam members discovered the attack taking place in May, and with help from law enforcement stopped the cybercriminals from gaining full access to the system and encrypting customer files. 

Blackbaud says the hacker or hackers were not able to access bank or credit card information or social security numbers, but did steal a set of data containing names, addresses and donation records. 

"Because protecting our customers’ data is our top priority, we paid the cybercriminal’s demand with confirmation that the copy they removed had been destroyed," reads a disclosure on Blackbaud's website. "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."

Blackbaud provides data platforms for for-profit companies, but is best known for serving non-profits, foundations and institutes of higher learning. 

Como Friends says the organization is notifying donors so they can take action to protect themselves, and urges members to remain vigilant and report any suspected identity theft or suspicious cyber activity to the proper authorities. 

Anyone with questions on the ransomware attack can email Como Friends, or call 651-487-8229.