Suspicious activity found on 48,000 CRA accounts after cyberattacks

OTTAWA _ The Treasury Board of Canada says it has uncovered suspicious activities on more than 48,000 Canada Revenue Agency accounts following cyberattacks in July and August.

The treasury says the previously-announced attacks targeted CRA accounts and GCKey, an online portal through which Canadians access employment insurance and immigration services.

Attackers used a method called credential stuffing, which takes advantage of people who reuse usernames and passwords across multiple platforms that may have been previously hacked.

The treasury says GCKey was not compromised, but it has revoked 9,300 credentials for its system and is contacting those users in hopes of blocking subsequent attacks.

Canadians who receive a revocation message can register for new credentials or make use of the SecureKey Concierge, which lets users sign in to 269 government services through partners, such as major banks.

The treasury says the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s investigation into the attacks is still ongoing and affected departments have been in contact with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to provide updates on what personal information has been compromised.

Thousands of CRA and government accounts disabled after cyberattack

Thousands of CRA and government accounts disabled after cyberattack

By Lee Berthiaume

THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA _ Federal authorities were scrambling for answers over the weekend after revealing that hackers used thousands of stolen usernames and passwords to fraudulently obtain government services _ with the extent of the damage still unclear.

More than 9,000 hijacked accounts that Canadians use to apply for and access federal services have been cancelled after being compromised in what the Treasury Board of Canada described as  “credential stuffing” attacks.

“These attacks, which used passwords and usernames collected from previous hacks of accounts worldwide, took advantage of the fact that many people reuse passwords and usernames across multiple accounts,” the federal department said in a statement.

The hacked accounts were tied to GCKey, which is used by around 30 federal departments and allows Canadians to access various services such as employment insurance, veterans’ benefits and immigration applications.

One-third of those accounts successfully accessed services before all of the affected accounts were shut down, said the Treasury Board, which is responsible for managing the federal civil service as well as the public purse.

Officials are now trying to determine how many of those services were fraudulent.

The GCKey attack included thousands of Canada Revenue Agency accounts, through which Canadians can access their income-tax records and other personal information as well as apply for financial support related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 5,500 CRA accounts were targeted through the GCKey attack and an earlier “credential stuffing” scheme, the Treasury Board said.

“Access to all affected accounts has been disabled to maintain the safety and security of taxpayers’ information and the Agency is contacting all affected individuals and will work with them to restore access to their CRA MyAccount,” the department said.

Yet at least one victim says she has yet to hear anything from the government after someone hacked into her CRA account earlier this month and successfully applied for the $2,000-per-month Canada Emergency Response Benefit for COVID-19.

Leah Baverstock, a law clerk in Kitchener, Ont., says she first realized her account had been compromised and contacted the revenue agency herself when she received several emails from CRA on Aug. 7 saying she had successfully applied for the CERB.

“The lady I spoke to at CRA, she’s said: ‘This is a one-off,”’ said Baverstock, who has continued to work through the pandemic and did not apply for the support payments.

“And she told me a senior officer would be calling me within 24 hours because my account was completely locked down. And I still haven’t heard from anybody.”

Baverstock expressed frustration at the lack of contact, adding she still does not know how the hackers accessed her account. She has since contacted her bank and other financial institutions to stop the hackers from using her information to commit more fraud.

“I am quite concerned,” she said. “Somebody could be leaving under my name. Who knows. It’s scary. It’s really scary.”

The Treasury Board did not reveal how many of the CRA accounts were compromised or the cost of the suspected fraud, but said federal officials as well as the RCMP and federal privacy commissioner were conducting separate investigations.

And while the CRA says victims will get letters explaining how to confirm their identities to regain access to their accounts, it did not say how those receiving the Canada Child Benefit, CERB and other services will be affected by their accounts being suspended.

The government warned Canadians to use unique passwords for all online accounts and to monitor them for suspicious activity.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says more than 13,000 Canadians have been victims of fraud totalling $51 million this year. There have been 1,729 victims of COVID-19 fraud worth $5.55 million.

 

Thousands of CRA and government accounts disabled after cyberattack

New Cybersecurity Initiative Finds That a Majority of Canadians Have Been the Victim of a Cybercrime

TORONTO, July 9, 2020 /CNW/ – The Cybersecure Policy Exchange (CPX), powered by RBC, today launched a report setting out an ambitious policy agenda that addresses findings from new survey data of 2,000 Canadians collected in mid-May. The report sheds light on Canadians’ online experiences and their priorities related to cybersecurity and digital privacy.

The goal of CPX is to broaden and deepen the discussion about cybersecurity and digital privacy policy in Canada, and to create and advance innovative policy responses, from idea generation to implementation.

“We live and work in a time of unprecedented technology development and adoption —

further accelerated by events like COVID-19,” said Charles Finlay, Executive Director of Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst. “We need urgent national policies that protect our security and digital privacy, while ensuring equal access for all. That is why we developed CPX–to be a platform for debating and advancing cybersecurity policy that is of critical importance to all Canadians.”

To lay the groundwork for these discussions, CPX undertook a survey of Canadians; some key findings from the report “Advancing a Cybersecure Canada” include:

  • 57% of Canadians reported being the victim of a cybercrime;
    • 31% unintentionally installed or downloaded a computer virus or malware;
    • 28% experienced a data breach that exposed personal information; and
    • 22% had an online account hacked;
    • 13% have been a victim of phishing; and
    • 8% have unintentionally installed or downloaded ransomware.
  • Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians have adopted new technologies to stay connected making them more vulnerable to privacy and security risks. 55% of Canadians have used Facebook Messenger and 46%have used Zoom.
  • Only 26% of Canadians with a smart speaker or voice-operated assistant have restricted the information it can access through its settings.

CPX will focus its work on three high-impact technologies:

  1. Social Media Platforms: Online platforms that enable users to connect and share user-generated content.
    • Only 15% of Canadians trust Facebook to keep their data secure, compared to 62% who trust the federal government and 73% who trust health care providers.
  2. Internet of Things (IoT): Physical networked devices connected to the Internet, from consumer electronics, to larger industrial and infrastructure applications.
    • 68% of Canadians have at least one smart device in their home.
  3. Biometrics and Facial Recognition: Technologies that measure and analyze a person’s physical or behavioural attributes to recognize or confirm identities, such as facial recognition.
    • 41% of Canadians are uncomfortable with being captured by video doorbells like Amazon’s Ring, and 15% support a ban on these products.

This report marks the launch of CPX’s agenda to develop public policy solutions, and raise awareness to the privacy and security challenges of each of these technologies.

“Cybersecurity has quickly become one of the most important issues of our time,” said Laurie Pezzente, Senior Vice-President of Global Cyber Security and Chief Security Officer at RBC. “As a leading organization in cybersecurity entrusted to keep our clients data safe and secure, RBC is proud to support the Cybersecure Policy Exchange and its ambitious policy agenda. Questions of privacy and security are paramount for all Canadians and policymakers, and proper governance of these issues will ultimately contribute to a more prosperous and equitable world.”

On Tuesday, July 14th from 1:30pm – 3:00pm EST members of the CPX team from RBC, Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst and Ryerson Leadership will convene for a live discussion to breakdown their new agenda, survey results and elaborate on the current cybersecurity threat landscape. More information and the registration link can be found here.

Through close public and sectoral engagement with the general public, government, academia and civic institutions on each of these urgent challenges, CPX will work to advance the responsible governance of this technology to protect Canadians.

The full findings are available at https://www.cybersecurepolicy.ca/agenda. An anonymous survey was conducted online by Pollara Strategic Insights on behalf of the Cybersecure Policy Exchange with 2,000 Canadian residents 18 years of age or older, from May 14 to 22, 2020. As a guideline, a probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to +/- 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The data were weighted by region, gender and age, based on the most recent Canadian census figures to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population.

The Cybersecure Policy Exchange is a new initiative from Ryerson University, dedicated to advancing effective and innovative public policy in cybersecurity and digital privacy. The Cybersecure Policy Exchange is powered by RBC through Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst and the Ryerson Leadership Lab.

Cybersecure Policy Exchange
cybersecurepolicy.ca | @cyberpolicyx
cybersecure.policy@ryerson.ca

SOURCE Ryerson University

 

Coalition, a technology-enabled cyber insurance & security firm, has entered the Canadian market

Coalition, a technology-enabled cyber insurance & security firm, has entered the Canadian market

Coalition, the leading cyber insurance and security company in the US, today announced it is expanding its offering to Canada-based companies, providing proactive cybersecurity products and services and best-in-class cyber and technology error & omissions insurance to help keep businesses safe. Coalition will offer up to CAD $20 million of comprehensive insurance coverage supported by the financial strength of Swiss Re (A.M. Best A+) to companies with up to CAD $1 billion in annual revenue. Through Coalition’s online platform, licensed insurance brokers are able to generate a quote in minutes and also provide their clients with access to Coalition’s proprietary cybersecurity tools and services that are designed to detect, mitigate, and contain threats at no additional cost.

Cyber threats know no boundaries — technology has introduced a range of new threats to businesses irrespective of their location that are not well covered by traditional insurers. Coalition’s global cybersecurity platform provides businesses the risk management support they need most, including help preventing incidents in the first place, and support during and after a crisis. With this expansion, Coalition is proud to advance its mission to solve cyber risktogether with Canadian businesses by not only helping to prevent cyber attacks, but helping businesses survive them when they occur.

“Cyber risk is a global problem in need of a global solution,” said Shawn Ram, Head of Insurance at Coalition. “The future of cyber security and insurance are integrated solutions to protect against cyber incidents across all asset types. We’re excited to make this future a reality across the Canadian market.”

Coalition’s approach to cyber insurance is rooted in risk management and mitigation, bringing together cyber security expertise with the safety of insurance to provide the first truly holistic approach to solve cyber risk:

  • Risk mitigation: Coalition provides free cybersecurity tools to help businesses manage and mitigate cyber risk, and comprehensive cyber insurance to help them recover after an incident. Coalition’s comprehensive solution helps companies improve their cybersecurity, mitigate incidents when they occur, and help companies recover financially in the aftermath.
  • Superior claims handling and incident response: all policyholders receive 24/7/365 access to Coalition’s in-house team of security and incident response experts. Together with hand-picked partner firms (including public relations, legal, and crisis management experts), Coalition stands ready to help organizations quickly recover from a cyber incident.
  • Aligned incentives: Coalition is changing the paradigm in cybersecurity by aligning economic incentives with its customers. Unlike a traditional cybersecurity company, Coalition shares its customer’s incentives to prevent and mitigate losses.

“Coalition is more than just an insurance solution,” said Joshua Motta, CEO of Coalition. “Our expansion into Canada will give us greater visibility into cyber losses, and even more resources to combat cybercrime, on a global basis.”

For more information, visit coalitioninc.ca.

About Coalition
Coalition is the leading provider of cyber insurance and security, combining comprehensive insurance and proactive cybersecurity tools to help businesses manage and mitigate cyber risk. Backed by leading global insurers Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Lloyd’s of London, and Argo Group, Coalition provides companies with up to USD $15 million of cyber and technology insurance coverage in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as CAD $20M of coverage across all 10 provinces in Canada. Coalition’s cyber risk management platform provides automated security alerts, threat intelligence, expert guidance, and cybersecurity tools to help businesses remain resilient in the face of cyber attacks. Headquartered in San Francisco, Coalition has presences in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta, Denver, Austin, and now Vancouver and Toronto.

SOURCE Coalition

Related Links

http://coalitioninc.ca

 

Six months after cyberattack, LifeLabs says it has appointed a CISO and rolled out new security policies

Six months after cyberattack, LifeLabs says it has appointed a CISO and rolled out new security policies

ITworld Canada

Half a year after suffering arguably the worst data breach in Canadian history, LifeLabs provided its customers with an update on what it’s doing to make sure history isn’t repeated.

In an email obtained by IT World Canada, LifeLabs chief executive officer Charles Brown released a statement to customers on June 11, noting “I cannot change what happened, but I assure you that I have made every effort toward making change to provide you services you can trust.”

Here is the list of changes LifeLabs is introducing, according to the email:

Part of an email from June 11 sent to LifeLabs customers. According to his LinkedIn profile, LifeLabs’ former senior IT manager was appointed to be the CISO last December.

Brown also wrote that the breach delivered LifeLabs a stern reminder that “we must continuously work to protect ourselves against cybercrime” and that “data protection and privacy are now central to everything we do.”

The update from LifeLabs comes on the heels of a report from data protection company Veritas that says public consumers are seeking apologies, fines and even prison sentences for CEOs who fail to protect their businesses. Forty per cent of consumers hold business leaders personally responsible for ransomware attacks businesses suffer, according to the Veritas survey, which interviewed roughly 12,000 consumers. Thirty per cent would demand the CEO be banned from running a company if it suffered a cyberattack. Twenty-three per cent of those surveyed want to send CEOs to prison for mishandling data.

And despite nearly 90 per cent of respondents in a recent survey conducted by The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) saying customer privacy is an important corporate objective, only 60 per cent of those businesses say they have procedures in place to respond to customers’ requests to access their personal information.

Source: IT World Canada

CPA Canada hit by cyberattack affecting data of more than 329,000

TORONTO _ A cyberattack on the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada website has affected the personal information of more than 329,000 members and stakeholders, the organization said.

The information includes names, addresses, emails and employer names, but passwords and credit card numbers were protected by encryption, CPA Canada said.

It warned the data could be used in email phishing scams and encouraged those affected to  “remain vigilant.”

The attack by  “unauthorized third parties” occurred between Nov. 30 and May 1, according to an internal investigation carried out with the help of cybersecurity experts.

The organization said it beefed up its security measures and contacted the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and privacy authorities after learning of “a possible security incident” the week of April 20.

“Upon discovering this, CPA Canada took immediate steps to secure its systems and conduct a thorough analysis to determine what information may have been involved,” the group said in an email.

“There is no evidence that the encryption keys were affected in this incident and we have no reason to believe the encryption was compromised.”

The personal information relates mainly to the distribution of CPA Magazine and everyone affected has been notified, the organization said.

Hacks against a wide range of companies since 2018 have included medical test laboratory LifeLabs and credit union Desjardins, which combined saw the theft of the personal information of more than 19 million Canadians.

 

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