As a result, the database was temporarily shut down and the Metropolitan Police contacted – although the institute insists it has so far uncovered no ‘criminal or malicious intent’ and has not detected any attempts to steal members’ details from the information bank.
It is understood a number of customer organisations in the UK and America were targeted by the hackers.
RIBA chief executive Richard Hasitlow said: ‘Members and practices are requested to keep a close eye on any bank or credit card accounts that may have been used for membership-related payments to the RIBA.
‘While there is no reason to think these have been compromised, additional vigilance would seem advisable in the coming weeks.’
In the meantime the institute is asking members to report any ‘suspicious activity’ to their bank or card issuer in the normal way, and also to inform the RIBA’s membership department by emailing email@example.com.
Hasitlow added: ‘Should any email purporting to come from the RIBA ask you for any confidential details, please do not respond.
‘I greatly regret this intrusion and any anxiety this may cause you – plus the inconvenience of our database system being closed to members for a few days. We have called in expert support and are taking urgent measures to improve protection against this latest type of threat.’