Sheffield Hallam University confirms data breach following cyber attack

It’s one of more than 20 unis and charities affected

Names and contact details for alumni, donors, and other stakeholders were taken during a cyberattack in May on Sheffield Hallam University.

Blackbaud, a software provider used by Hallam, fell victim to the attack. The company is used by numerous other unis including Birmingham, Leeds, York, and Reading, who also suffered a data breach.

The hackers are believed to have destroyed the data following a ransom payment from Blackbaud, which has faced criticism for not saying it had been hacked until July, and going against FBI advice to pay the ransom.

In an email, Hallam secretary, Michaela Boryslawskyj, told ‘valued members’ of the Hallam community: “The data taken does not include bank details, financial information or sensitive personal data; and you do not have to take any direct action in relation to this incident at this stage.

“However, the university takes its approach to data security very seriously and we have established a full incident response group to review and respond to this issue.

“At this stage, you do not need to do anything except remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police or other law enforcement authorities. Further information is available about staying safe online. We will continue to work with Blackbaud to investigate this incident further and its implications.

“We sincerely apologise for any distress that this data security breach by Blackbaud may cause. The University takes data protection very seriously and we regret any inconvenience caused by this incident.”

Featured image credit: Graham Robson labelled for reuse under this Creative Commons License