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NFP sector in Canberra talks cyber security

Charity leaders have met with senior federal government cyber security officials to discuss the impact of cybercrime, following recent complaints by advocates they were being left to “fend for themselves”.

The Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA), Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA), Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), Infoxchange and the Community Council for Australia (CCA) met with staff at the Department of Home Affairs to discuss cyber safety support for charities and not-for-profits.

The meeting follows the ransomware attack on Brisbane based charity telemarketer Pareto Phone, which resulted in a massive data breach that impacted more than 70 Australian and New Zealand charities.

More than 320,000 files and the data of at least 50,000 donors were dumped on the dark web. Hackers stole the data in April, before publishing the information in August.

Among the worst hit organisations were WWF Australia, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Plan International Australia.

The incident led to a warning from authorities to the sector to be wary of relying on third party providers who have access to their data.

Days after the Pareto breach in late August, CCA CEO David Crosbie wrote to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the Minister for Cyber Security Clare O’Neill calling on the government to better protect charities from cyberattacks.

The letter was co-signed by the 12 member CCA board, which includes Mission Australia CEO Sharon Callister, RSPCA Australia CEO Richard Mussell and Volunteering Australia CEO Mark Pearce.

Taken from Institute of Community Directors Australia on 9 October 2023.

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