Two Canadian banks hacked in likely blackmail case

30 May, 2018, 18:59 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • The CIBC sign in Toronto's financial district on Feb. 26 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS  Nathan Denette

The apparent extortion attempt against BMO and CIBC's direct-banking brand Simplii comes after a string of major hacking incidents including Uber's attempt to pay off hackers and credit agency Equifax suffering a major worldwide data breach.

Simplii has since implemented additional online security measures such as enhanced online fraud monitoring.

Both BMO and CIBC said they will be contacting clients, and recommended that customers monitor their accounts and notify their financial institution about any suspicious activity. In the case of Simplii Financial, around 40,000 customer accounts have been affected, but numbers have not been revealed for the Bank of Montreal.

There is "no indication" at this point that CIBC clients are affected by the breach, Simplii's spokesperson said. Offering 24/7 access to online, mobile and telephone banking as well as access to a national network of over 3,400 CIBC ABMs, Simplii Financial delivers a simple and easy way to bank.

On Sunday, the bank received a claim from the alleged perpetrators that they had breached Simplii's customer data, and "began investigating to understand the claim and verify its accuracy".

Bank of Montreal reportedly said it believed the attack originated from outside of Canada and was confident that any vulnerabilities that led to the theft of customer data had been closed off.

Canadian lenders including Toronto-Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia and National Bank of Canada said they haven't been targeted.

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"We're taking this claim seriously and have taken action to further enhance our monitoring and security procedures", Simplii's senior vice-president Michael Martin said in a statement. We are proactively contacting those customers that may have been impacted and we will support and stand by them.

Bank of Montreal is the fourth largest bank in Canada.

"This is important financial information, and a lot of damage can occur..."

CIBC and BMO are warning customers of a personal information data hack that took place on Sunday, May 27.

The hackers apparently threatened to make the data public, the spokesman said.

New federal data breach regulations that would require mandatory reporting of security breaches are set to take effect on November 1.

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