Analecta Cyber Company Blog: Washington D.C. think tank hacked, 700,000 charities at risk

2015-09-17

Washington D.C. think tank hacked, 700,000 charities at risk

The Urban Institute, a group of experts based in Washington D.C providing research articles for nonprofits on management and governance, disclosed that the organization’s National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) network has been the recent focus of a major security breach.



Sensitive information of up to 700,000 charities has been compromised, including the first and last names, email addresses, IP addresses, phone numbers and account usernames and passwords. The attackers were able to access this information through the Form 990 Online and e-Postcard filing systems for nonprofit organizations in at least states.

Steps for extra protection


The director of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute said the office already informed the IRS about the matter and is working with law enforcement agencies throughout their investigation. She also said hey have retained a leading cyber security firm to help analyze the situation and strengthen their system’s security. The Urban Institute warned users to be more vigilant for any questionable web links or attachments that they receive from unknown senders. They also advised all users to change their passwords immediately before accessing the Form 990 Online and e-Postcard system. Officials at the Urban Institute have issued an apology to the public for the inconvenience this incident may have caused and ensured that they are committed to exert full efforts in continuously protecting their system against future attacks.