The Toronto Symphony Orchestra was one of several North American and European cultural organizations who were the victims of a ransomware attack.
WordFly is a platform used for communications and marketing by many organizations, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Specifically, it is used for its email subscription programs.
TSO subscribers were informed by email on July 25 of an incident of data theft via WordFly-based email that is said to have occurred on July 10. In order to protect its subscriber base, the orchestra has temporarily switched to another email provider. According to the statement, payment and financial data were not involved. The ransomware attack occurred solely with respect to WordFly, and not the TSO’s own IT systems.
“WordFly assures us that there is no evidence to suggest that the data was misused for any purpose by this attacker, nor made publicly available.” The message from the TSO to its subscribers is quoted in IT World Canada.
Data from WordFly was encrypted and exported. For the TSO, the data included name and email address, TSO ID numbers and information such as survey responses.
“Please accept our sincere apologies,” the orchestra wrote. “We take the security of our data and systems very seriously, and we value the trust that you place in us.”
WordFly’s systems, as of July 26, were still not back online.
“It is our understanding that as of the evening of July 15, 2022, the data was deleted from the bad actor’s possession,” the company said in a statement. “We have no evidence to suggest, before the bad actor deleted the data, that the data was leaked or disseminated elsewhere. We also have no evidence to suggest that any of this information has been, or will be, misused.”
Many larger cultural institutions were affected by the ransomware attack worldwide, including the Smithsonian Institution and Courtauld Institute of Arts in the US, the Sydney Dance Company in Australia, and the Southbank Centre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Opera House and The Old Vic theatre in the UK.
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