The financial supporters of a local social service provider may have had their personal information taken hostage by hackers.

Preble Street of Portland is one of many nonprofit organizations across the world that recently learned its donor information may have been part of a massive ransomware attack of Blackbaud, a South Carolina company that provides cloud-based storage to nonprofit organizations ranging from art foundations and historic sites to churches and schools.

Hackers attacked the cloud-based storage platform where Blackbaud stored Preble Street donors’ demographic information, such as their philanthropic giving history, but not their credit card or bank information, shelter officials told donors by email Thursday. Donors’ Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers are safe, too, as the shelter doesn’t collect those.

The attack made international headlines in May due to the scope and prestige of Blackbaud’s clientele, but also because the company revealed it had paid off the hackers that had spent three months stealing its data to destroy the data rather than resell it or use it for criminal purposes.

But Blackbaud only told Preble Street that its data might have been at risk on July 16, according to shelter officials.

Shelter officials advised donors to remain vigilant and promptly report any suspicious activity or suspected identify theft to both the shelter and the proper law enforcement authorities. Individuals may want to take additional protective measures such as placing credit freezes on their files with credit reporting agencies “out of an abundance of caution,” officials said.

Founded in 1975, Preble Street employs more than 200 staff and 6,000 volunteers each year to provide supportive housing, crisis intervention, healthcare and more than a thousand meals a day to Maine’s most at-risk residents at seven sites in Portland, Lewiston and Bangor.


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