Tens of Thousands Affected by Canadian Bank Hack

By John Smithies, Epoch Times

More than 90,000 people have had their bank details accessed by hackers, who are asking for $1 million in ransom.

Canadian bank Simplii Financial warned on Monday 28 May that 40,000 of its customer accounts had been breached by the hackers.

Later that same day, the Bank of Montreal revealed that 50,000 of its accounts had also been accessed, with hackers threatening to go public.

“We took steps immediately when the incident occurred and we are confident that exposures identified related to customer data have been closed off,” a Bank of Montreal spokesperson told CBC News.

Media outlets across Canada were emailed by someone claiming to have stolen the data. The person threatened to sell the information to “criminals” if the banks did not pay a $1 million ransom, CBC reported.

“Criminals will use Simplii and BMO client informations to apply for products credit using social insurance number, date of birth and all other personnal [SIC]  info,” the letter said, according to CBC.

One customer, interviewed by CBC News, confirmed that $980 had been fraudulently transferred from his Simplii Financial account on Saturday, May 26.

Michael McCarthy of Edmonton told the media outlet, “The bank said they blocked it, but it still hasn’t been reversed. My biggest concern is around my personal information in someone else’s hands.”

In a statement, Simplii Financial said it had added further online security measures in response to the hack.

“Immediately upon learning of the potential issue, Simplii began investigating to understand the claim and verify its accuracy,” the bank said. “We also moved quickly to implement enhanced online fraud monitoring and online banking security measures.”