As you may know, our church office systems began experiencing technical difficulty last week and as a method of standard procedure we immediately took all systems offline to investigate further. Upon investigation of this, we learned that we were targeted by a cyberattack intended to essentially lock all data.
We have engaged outside help in the areas of technical, security and operations to:
- Understand the source of this incident and advise on best steps in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of future such incidents.
- Enable our leadership to continue to focus on mission.
While our investigation is ongoing, in the interest of sharing as much as we know, I share with you the following.
We know that online financial transactions were not targeted. The reason we know this is because they use a third-party processor and we do not hold information from online financial transactions in our system.
We are still in the process of understanding what happened, but believe this to be a routine attack targeted towards many organizations and businesses.
Here’s how you can help:
- Pray for your church staff — that is working around the clock to assist, understand, and help in this investigation. These are difficult times for all of us to be disconnected and this seems like one more “challenge” on top of the many we all experience as a result of operating in conditions that are anything other than business as usual.
- Remain vigilant with your information. The news is filled daily with organizations and businesses much larger than ours that are regularly attacked with what appears to be the sole goal to create fear and distress for others. Know that we will NEVER ask you for financial information or passwords via email. And you should not provide this information to anyone except a trusted financial advisor.
As we continue this investigation, I will let you know of anything I learn that may be helpful to share. In the meantime, know this, above all else: We continue on in mission and purpose, and we move forward to Live In Faith Everyday.
Pastor Michael Carlson