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Warning after Stourbridge hospice email hacked in cyber-attack

By Dayna Farrington | Stourbridge | News | Published:

Hackers sent out potentially malicious emails after a cyber-attack on a Black Country-based hospice, it has been revealed.

Mary Stevens Hospice

Bosses at Mary Stevens Hospice, in Stourbridge, said one of their email accounts was hacked earlier this month – with a hacker potentially sending out a fraudulent link to contacts.

IT experts at the Hagley Road-based hospice said the security breach was identified and resolved swiftly – but they are only 95 per cent sure that no personal data was taken by the hackers.

The charity's chief executive officer Stevan Jackson has sent out a letter to the charity's database of contacts reassuring and informing supporters following the breach, a statement said.

A spokesman for the hospice said: "On April 10, one of the hospice's email accounts was compromised temporarily at around midday and a hacker was able to send a potentially malicious email to a number of the staff member's contacts, inviting recipients to click on a fraudulent link.

"IT experts at the hospice claim the breach was identified and resolved swiftly, however to ensure total transparency with supporters and those contacts whose information is stored within the hospice's internal system, the charity's CEO has chosen to make all supporters aware of the breach and to offer advice on how to proceed if anyone has clicked the link.

"Staff at the charity have notified the Police, the Information Commissioner's Office and the Charity Commission and have been given a crime number while the Police make their inquiries and investigate the breach further."

It added: "We have taken immediate and appropriate actions to reinforce existing security measures. With assistance from our IT company we are also introducing additional security measures to further minimise any future occurrence.

"We have been told by our IT company that there is a 95 per cent probability that personal data has not been compromised as a result of this breach but as a precautionary measure we are now in the process of contacting all individuals that may have been affected."

If any supporters are concerned that they may have received a suspicious email from the hospice and clicked on the content, the charity have said to call hospice privacy officer Gerry Crow on 01384 443010 or email privacy.officer@marystevenshospice.co.uk.

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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