Has your data been leaked by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service?

Angus Kidman 28 October 2016

BloodDonor_Shutterstock

A security breach has led to over 500,000 donor records being leaked - here's what you need to know.

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service has been the victim of one of Australia's biggest personal data leaks, with more than 550,000 people potentially affected.

The leak apparently occurred after information that has been collected from donors between 2010-2016 was placed on a non-secured computer used by one of the service's website developers. The data included names, addresses and dates of birth. The data was apparently exposed between 5 September and 26 August 2016.

"We are deeply disappointed this could happen," the service said in a note online. "We take full responsibility for this mistake and apologise unreservedly. We would like to assure you we are doing everything in our power to not only right this but to prevent it from happening again.

The Blood Service has been reaching out to donors who may be affected via text message.

While the Blood Service says that it has taken steps to prevent further leakage and deleted all known copies of the data, security consultant Troy Hunt wrote that he had been sent a file containing details of multiple donors earlier this week.

While there is no evidence that medical information has been leaked, birth date information can be used by hackers to attempt to gain access to additional information. Keeping your birth date private is a sensible security measure.

The Red Cross has set up a dedicated phone line on 13 95 96 for anyone concerned if they are affected.

Picture: Shutterstock

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6 Responses to Has your data been leaked by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service?

  1. Default Gravatar
    Bruce | November 1, 2016

    Has my data been leaked or not. I am concerned that it has obviously not be kept secure

    • Staff
      May | November 1, 2016

      Hi Bruce,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      It would be best to check with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service directly on 13 95 96 if you suspect you are affected by the breach. Just to confirm though that the Blood Service has been reaching out to those who may be affected via text message.

      Cheers,
      May

  2. Default Gravatar
    ruth | October 30, 2016

    What are the implications?

    • Staff
      May | November 1, 2016

      Hi Ruth,

      Thanks for your question.

      The security breach may lead hackers to gain access to sensitive data and personal information of those who are affected which can be used for illegal purposes. In case you are affected, please contact the Australian Red Cross Blood Service on 13 95 96 immediately.

      Cheers,
      May

  3. Default Gravatar
    Caroline | October 28, 2016

    Kindly advise me whether or not my details have been compromised in the latest security breach at the Red Cross.

    My experiences with Red Cross, including as an employee, as a donor and as a volunteer have all been negative.

    This latest failure takes the cake.

    • Staff
      Jason | October 30, 2016

      Hi Caroline.

      Thank you for reaching out.

      The Australian Red Cross Blood Service has been reaching out to donors who may be affected via text message. Please contact them on 13 95 96 if you want to verify with them if you are affected by the breach.

      Cheers,
      Jason

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