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Oxfam Australia has confirmed that supporter information was unlawfully accessed in a suspected cyber attack earlier this year.
The charity has been investigating the “data incident” since February after a database belonging to it was leaked online.
The database was alleged to have contained contact and donor information for about 1.7 million Oxfam Australia supporters, though at the time this was unverified.
In an update on Monday, the charity said it had found “supporter’s information on one of its databases was unlawfully accessed by an external party on 20 January 2021”.
“The database includes information about supporters who may have signed a petition, taken part in a campaign or made donations or purchases through our former shops,” it said.
Oxfam said that, for the majority of supporters, the database contained names, addresses, dates of birth, email addresses, phone numbers and genders.
It also contained donation histories “in some instinces” and additional forms of information “for a limited group of supporters”, which Oxfam will contact supporters directly about.
“There was a small group of supporters who may have had their bank name, account number and BSB accessed, or part of their credit and debit card details accessed,” it said.
“We are contacting this group of supporters to provide advice on the particular steps that they can take to protect their information and avoid scams.”
Having alerted its supporters to the incident last month, Oxfam has now begun the process of “notifying all supporters about steps that they can take to protect their information”
It is also continuing to work with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and Australian Cyber Security Centre.
CEO Lyn Morgain said that Oxfam Australia would continue to communicate “quickly and openly with our supporters, while also complying with regulatory requirements”.
“We contacted all our supporters early last month to alert them to a suspected incident, which has now been confirmed,” she said.
She added that the “privacy and protection of our supporters has been our paramount consideration during this process, which has involved a thorough and complex investigation”.
“Oxfam supporters are at the heart of our organisation and their confidence is critical to our ongoing work in tackling the inequality that causes poverty around the world,” she said.
“We sincerely regret this incident has occurred.”
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