Blackbaud's Security Incident

As alumni and supporters of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation, we want you to know about an incident that may have involved your personal information. In July, we were notified by Blackbaud, a North Carolina-based company that provides the Foundation with data management and software services, that they had experienced a data security incident. You may have already received a notification about this incident from other nonprofits you support, as Blackbaud’s fundraising and database services are used by thousands of nonprofit organizations worldwide and 15 of the 37 institutions of higher education in the Minnesota State System.

What’s Important to Know

No credit card, bank account, or other unique and sensitive information, such as social security number, was compromised.

What Happened

Blackbaud was the target of a ransomware attack sometime between February 7, 2020, and intermittently until May 20, 2020. The hackers attempted to disrupt business by locking users out of their own data and in the process, accessed personally identifying information about Blackbaud's nonprofit clients, including those of Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation.

After discovering the attack in May 2020, Blackbaud’s Cyber Security team—together with independent forensics experts and law enforcement—regained access to the stolen data and successfully prevented the cybercriminal from blocking their system access and fully encrypting files, and ultimately expelled them from the system. Blackbaud informed us of the breach on July 16, 2020.

The Minnesota State system IT and legal team launched an independent investigation on July 16 and sent us their confirmation of Blackbaud’s findings. In addition, Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation took the time to verify Blackbaud’s findings through an independent cybersecurity investigation and legal counsel of our own before sending this message.

What Information Was Involved

Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation does not store social security numbers or any banking account information within the Blackbaud system. Therefore, we can confirm that your social security number, credit card or bank account information were not breached. However, it is possible that contact information for some individuals may have been compromised. The information obtained by the intruders could include: name, address, phone number, email address, and if applicable, date of birth.

Blackbaud believes they have addressed this incident and are taking steps to ensure its security system is not compromised again. A full description of the incident is available on Blackbaud’s website.

What We Are Doing

We sincerely apologize for this incident and regret any inconvenience it may cause. We take data security very seriously, along with the trust you place in us. We are confident in Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation’s data security and privacy practices and will continue to work with Blackbaud to ensure your privacy and security are not compromised.

What You Can Do

As a best practice, we recommend you remain vigilant and promptly report any suspicious activity or suspected identity theft to us and to the proper law enforcement authorities such as the Federal Trade Commission, and the Office of the Attorney General for the state in which you reside.

Contact Us

If you have questions, concerns or would like specific information about your personal data please contact Jodi Bruns, Sr. Director of Advancement Services via email at jodi.bruns@mnsu.edu.