In an attack on an IT company in Londonderry, hackers stole information from charities and community groups.
Evide controls data for about 140 organizations on the island of Ireland and in the UK. Some of these organizations help people who have been victims of sexual crimes.
Last month, ransomware was used to try to get hold of it.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is looking into it with the help of experts in online crime.
A PSNI spokesman said, “Enquiries are still going on with our national partners.”
“Because of this, it wouldn’t be right to say more right now.”
Charity and social business based in Belfast One of the groups involved is Orchardville.
It has information about users and contacts for next of kin in its database, but it doesn’t have any information about money.
In a message to service users that the BBC saw, Orchardville said they didn’t know yet how much, if any, of their data had been accessed.
“But we wanted to let you know as soon as possible what happened so you can be more aware of any strange attempts to get in touch with you,” the organization said.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Cyber-attack: Data from charities stolen in ransomware attack https://t.co/176X0VDQxJ
— BBC News Technology (@BBCTech) April 17, 2023
A Dublin-based charity called “One in Four” has been getting in touch with people. This charity helps adults who have been sexually abused as children.
Its CEO, Maeve Lewis, said on RTÉ’s Good Morning Ireland show that phone numbers and email addresses were among the information that was stolen.
“Cybersecurity experts told us that this information is very valuable because it can be sold to people who commit or try to commit fraud by, for example, getting bank account information or other personal information,” she said.
She said that more than 1,000 people who have worked with the charity may be touched and that so far, the charity has been able to get in touch with about 500 of them.
“We know that any attachments, letters, or reports to child protection services, for example, have not been looked at,” she said.
It is thought that three other charities for victims of sexual abuse in the Republic of Ireland have also been hit.
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Evide said it found out about the event when its network picked up “unusual traffic.”
“As soon as we found out that a third party had gotten into our systems, we contacted the PSNI and hired experienced cyber-security experts to help us stop the problem, help with recovery efforts, and do a thorough investigation,” the company said.
“We’ve told all the right people and clients about it, and we’ve also told the right authorities, like the Police Service of Northern Ireland, which told the Irish police.”
RTÉ says it has heard that hackers have asked for money, which has not been paid.
A Garda Sochána is helping the PSNI look into a ransomware attack on a company in Northern Ireland that has customers all over the island of Ireland, a spokesperson said.
“A number of companies have been getting help from the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau,” she said.
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