Oxfam Australia responds to alerts of data breach affecting its 1.7 millions supporters 

Oxfam is trying to work out what data was accessed

Oxfam Australia, a non-for-profit aid and development organization, is investigating a suspected cyberattack that has allegedly impacted the data of 1.7 million donors.

Forensic specialists have been brought to “assist in identifying whether data may have been accessed and any impact on its supporters”.

The matter has also been reported to the Australian Cyber Security Centre and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

While it is not yet known whether any data has been compromised, Bleeping Computer earlier this week reported that a threat actor had tried to sell one of the charity’s databases.

The database is alleged to contain contact and donor information, including names, email addresses and phone numbers, for about 1.7 million Oxfam Australia supporters.

In response, Oxfam responded in a statement that these allegations are not verified, stating that IT experts “[continue] to be confirming the type of data that may have been accessed and whether any of our supporters are impacted”.

“Launching the investigation and ascertaining key facts have been our priorities, but this is a complex issue and inquiries are in their early stages,” she said.

The company updated on Feb. 9 that it is “in the process of notifying all supporters for whom we have a contactable email address”, and urged donors to contact them with any questions.

This is not the first charity data breach that happened of late. The largest woodland conservation charity in the United Kingdom, Woodland Trust, has just confirmed that it was hit with a cyberattack in December 2020.

Woodland Trust experienced disruption as many systems are offline, affecting the ability to support “certain services” for members and supporters, the company said in a statement.

Charities are especially vulnerable to hackers and other malicious elements because they are sometimes perceived as easy targets.

Some charities do not adequately invest in data security and other charities lack the resources to adequately respond to such attacks. In addition, charities often have a treasure trove of sensitive information, such as payment details, as well as personally-identifiable information about donors.

This also reinforces a recent report on the rising data breaches in Australia, which mostly involves contact information and financial details, W.Media reported.


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Acronis to launch mass global expansion with 100 micro data centers

Global cybersecurity service provider Acronis announced plans for a global expansion of its network of cloud data centers, adding 100 micro data centers to regions including Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, France, Germany, the UK, and the US.

New state-of-the-art facilities will also be set up in Canada, New Zealand, and Bhutan.

“The rise of edge computing around the world means more data is now created and used away from company networks. Micro data centers enable the efficient deployment of edge computing, particularly in emerging markets,” said Serguei ‘SB’ Beloussov, Founder and CEO of Acronis.

The new data centers will provide users with access to Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, the company’s flagship cybersecurity solution that integrates backup, disaster recovery, next-generation anti-malware, and endpoint management tools all under one service package.

“As part of Acronis’ Global-Local Strategy, this expansion allows us to provide the local, cost-efficient, bandwidth efficient, and low latency cloud services our global partners demand,” Mr. Beloussov added.

All of Acronis solutions are designed to address the Five Vectors of Cyber Protection, ensuring the safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security of an organisation’s data, applications, and systems.

“Organisations across the globe rely on data in a way they never have before, which means they need IT providers to be ready with effective, affordable solutions,” said Martin Robson, President and CEO of Robson Communications.

In early October, Acronis also announced the establishment of a new data center in Vancouver, Canada.

“The expansion of [Acronis’] data center network will help a lot more service providers around the world keep their clients productive and protected,” added Mr. Robson.

All Acronis data centers are said to meet the highest standards of digital and physical security, and feature redundant power and environmental controls to ensure constant 99.9% monthly availability.

“While reliance on cloud-based access to production data and controls has been increasing during the past several years, the pandemic accelerated its adoption worldwide among organizations,” said Phil Goodwin, Research Director at market research firm IDC.

Gartner has forecast the worldwide market for cloud management and security services will grow by more than 25% in the next two years.

“Developing a larger network of cloud data centers, especially in emerging markets, enables Acronis to cultivate new partners and customers who are actively seeking cloud-based data protection and security platforms and solutions,” added Mr. Goodwin.

Technavio also projected the global edge data center market will progress at a CAGR of almost 14% by 2024.

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Jie Yee Ong

Tech Reporter, W.Media