B.C. government networks hit by ‘sophisticated cybersecurity incidents’: Eby

B.C. government networks hit by 'sophisticated cybersecurity incidents': Eby
David Eby file photo.

British Columbia’s premier is sharing details about recent “sophisticated cybersecurity incidents” involving government networks.

Premier David Eby, in a statement Wednesday, says the government is working closely with the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre) and other agencies to determine the extent of the incidents. 

He says there’s no evidence at this time that sensitive information has been compromised, adding, “the investigation is ongoing, and we have more work to do to determine what information may have been accessed.”

According to Eby, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner is aware of the situation. He says additional measures are in place to safeguard data and information systems.

His statement comes after all government employees were recently instructed to change their passwords. 

“I want to assure British Columbians that the protection of data and networks is a top priority for our government. Cybersecurity threats are a constant reality of the modern world and continue to grow in seriousness,” said Eby.

CHEK News has learned that these cyberattacks are unrelated to similar incidents affecting London Drugs in recent weeks.

The B.C.-based retailer was forced to close all stores for more than a week following a “cybersecurity incident.” The stores have since reopened, with the chain saying there’s no reason to believe that customer databases were compromised.

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A cyber expert told CHEK News there are usually one or two motivations for such attacks, including obtaining credit card information.

“The data that’s really important for them is credit card information, personal information that can be re-sold. Oftentimes, it’s also used for extortion,” said Santosh Nair, chief technology officer at Styx Intelligence.

Over the last two years, Giant Tiger Stores Ltd., Indigo Books & Music, the LCBO, the Toronto Public Library, the Nova Scotia government, and the City of Hamilton in Ontario have also been victims of cyber incidents.

Eby says the government is being as transparent as possible. 

“I know the public will have many questions about these incidents, and we will be as transparent as we can without compromising the investigation. As this complex work proceeds, government will provide British Columbians with updates and information as we are able,” he added.

-with files from The Canadian Press

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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