Canadian Security Magazine

No evidence bank accounts drained by hackers

By THE TELEGRAM, Peter Jackson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter   

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Rumours that Eastern Health employees have had their bank accounts drained by hackers since a cyberattack crippled Newfoundland and Labrador’s health-care system earlier this month remained unconfirmed Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Recent narratives on Facebook and Twitter are primarily third-person references. A woman who says her brother was a victim did not return a request for comment.

A private Facebook group called Buyer Beware Newfoundland also featured a post that read, in part, “Time to be wary. My son’s bank account was cleaned out today by the hackers. He works at Eastern Health.” It garnered several dozen comments.

The province admitted late last week that hackers had gained access to personal information of patients and staff on its Meditech system in the Oct. 30 cyberattack. Workers are being offered help with credit monitoring as a precaution against possible identity theft.

However, Health Minister Dr. John Haggie said there’s no evidence that banking data was stolen in the breach.

Contacted Wednesday, the RCMP said they’ve received no reports of bank accounts being compromised in the wake of the attack, which the force’s cybercrimes unit is investigating.

As well, the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE), one of the unions representing health workers, says it has not received any reports, and the employer assured the union that it hasn’t, either.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Bankers Association said Wednesday that banks in Canada go to great lengths to protect their customers’ data and personal information.

“While there’s no indication that banking information was accessed or transferred, individuals affected by the Meditech breach should stay vigilant, change their passwords/passphrases and monitor their financial accounts for unauthorized activity,” he said.

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