Friday, October 7 2022

Bell Canada’s subsidiary, Bell Technical Solutions (BTS), has confirmed that it has been affected by a data breach that exposed personally identifiable information of its Ontario and Quebec-based customers.

The infamous gang behind Hive ransomware, which has previously hit the Costa Rican health service and French Telco Altice, has claimed responsibility for the security incident. BTS’s systems were compromised and encrypted on August 20, the hacker group revealed in a data leak blog post.

Earlier this year, Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence Center revealed that it had discovered a new ransomware variant based on the Rust language, which also included a more efficient structure, better obfuscation and stronger encryption.

Acknowledging the hack, Bell said: “We have become aware that certain company and employee operational information was accessed during a recent cybersecurity incident targeting Bell Technical Solutions.”

The perpetrators may have accessed the name, address and phone number of residential and small business customers in Ontario and Quebec who booked a technician visit, the company confirmed in its cybersecurity alert. However, despite the severity of the attack, Bell claimed that customers’ banking data had not been accessed or stolen.

BTS is currently investigating the incident alongside the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cybercrime Unit. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner was also notified of the breach.

Finally, to thwart plausible phishing attempts, the Bell subsidiary advised customers to monitor their accounts for any activity that appears suspicious.

“We will directly notify anyone whose private information may have been accessed. Bell Technical Solutions operates independently of Bell on a separate computer system; other Bell customers or other Bell subsidiaries have not been affected,” added the society.

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