London Drugs says no customer, employee data impacted in cybersecurity incident

A sign outside the London Drugs on Yates Street in Victoria explains that the store is closed until further notice.

London Drugs says a cybersecurity incident led to the closure of all of its 80 stores on Sunday, but says it has no reason to believe that customer or employee data has been impacted.

In an email statement, the company says it learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity incident.

“Out of an abundance of caution, London Drugs is closing all stores across Western Canada until further notice,” the statement said.

“Upon discovering the incident, London Drugs immediately undertook countermeasures to protect its network and data, including retaining leading third-party cybersecurity experts to assist with containment, remediation and to conduct a forensic investigation.”

As part of the investigation, London Drugs says it has shut off its phone lines to conduct the internal investigation.

“In the interim, Pharmacy staff are on-site at all London Drugs locations to support customers with urgent pharmacy needs,” a statement issued just before 2 p.m. said. “We advise customers to visit their local store in-person for immediate support and until the phone lines are back in service.”

Santosh Nair, a cyber-security expert and Chief Technology Officer at Styx Intelligence says that there is usually one or two motivations for a cyber attack on a retail company.

“The primary reason for that is if you look at bad actors, criminals they are really after sort of financial data. The data that’s really important for them is credit card information, personal information that can be re-sold. Often times it’s also used for extortion,” said Nair.

Nair also told CHEK News that although there it is too early to tell how much financial damage the company will incur, he estimates to start at least $5 million.

Cate Jones frequents the Victoria London Drugs on Yates Street. Jones finds it frustrating that, according to her, the warning of the cyberattack was posted on the website but then removed the following day.

“I had known about the outage, and last night I checked the website, and the website talked about the outage. I checked this morning, and the information about the outage was no longer on the website, so maybe London Drugs should put that message back on their website,” exclaimed Jones.

On Sunday, London Drugs told CHEK News it only operates in Western Canada, so the closure is affecting all of its stores.

“At this time, we have no reason to believe that customer or employee data has been impacted,” the statement says.

“We apologize for any inconvenience caused, and we want to assure you that this incident is the utmost priority for us at London Drugs,” the statement says.

The statement also says London Drugs will not be granting any interviews while it manages the incident.

READ PREVIOUS: All 80 London Drugs stores closed due to ‘operational issue’

Laura Brougham
Tchadas Leo

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