Published: Wed, May 30, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Canadian Banks Rocked By Data Theft Of 90,000 Customers

Canadian Banks Rocked By Data Theft Of 90,000 Customers

Canadian banks BMO and Simplii were the target of a hack attack earlier today, as the thieves stole the personal information of a combined 90,000 customers. Not the best way to enter the week, right?

The fraudsters said they accessed information such as names, account numbers, passwords, security questions and answers and even social insurance numbers and account balances by exploiting weaknesses in the two banks security systems. There's not a lot of detail regarding the fraudsters right now, but Bank of Montreal did state that its team believes the attack came from outside of Canada.

Simplii adds that clients who are victims of fraud because of the issue will receive 100 per cent of the money lost from the affected bank account.

BMO says it took immediate steps after learning of the potential breach and is confident that exposures related to customer data have been "closed off". Specifically, these criminals may have electronically accessed roughly 40,000 client accounts.

The thieves have also shared accurate personal information about two Canadians, each a customer of each respective bank, in order to back up the veracity of their claims. Do not respond to these emails if you get one.

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There is "no indication" at this point that CIBC clients are affected by the breach, Simplii's spokesperson said.

Both banks are recommending clients also take additional steps to safeguard their information.

Bank of Montreal followed CIBC, revealing that it too had received a tip that hackers had stolen data from the bank's customer base.

"In terms of cyber incidents overall, whether it's breaches, whether it's these sorts of attacks, whether it's standard ransomware, that's skyrocketing". As a result of this, the bank implemented additional online security measures and started an investigation to determine the veracity of the claim.

However, the incident involving BMO and Simplii varies from more standard efforts to either use the data itself to profit or to try and sell it to third parties - which makes it harder for companies to set up defensive plans, said Kabilan.

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