Alberta College of Paramedics privacy breach put information of thousands of members at risk

CBC reports:

A breach that happened with the Alberta College of Paramedics navigation portal may have put the personal information of thousands of first responders in the province at risk.

ACP governs and regulates the province’s emergency medical responders, emergency medical technicians, and emergency medical technologists.

The regulatory association said, in a release, there was a security breach and they have “contained the access.” The cause for the breach is reported to have been a software update to the association’s employee portal.

The compromise happened from 7:30 p.m. on September 23 until 11:30 a.m. the next day.  ACP said during the breach people with a login could “log into the system and view another practitioner’s information in our database.”

Read more on CBC.

The full text of a notice on the organization’s web site, posted September 24:

The Alberta College of Paramedics was made aware today at approximately 10:00 am that the NavPortal link on the website was compromised resulting in unauthorized access of individual registrant information.

As of this writing, we think the time of compromise extended from approximately 7:30 pm on September 23, 2016, until approximately 11:30 am on September 24, 2016, when it was corrected. A software update to the NavPortal resulted in the unauthorized access.

During the unauthorized access, it was possible for a practitioner with a username and password to log into the system and view another practitioner’s information in our database. Similarly, it was possible to generate a new username and password and view practitioner information. Our records show that approximately 5 people did so during this period. We are checking into this. In any case it was not possible to alter the information in another practitioner’s account.

The information at risk of disclosure includes the following:

  • Date of Birth
  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone numbers
  • Email address
  • Registration Details – current and historical
  • Any conditions that may be on file
  • Employment records
  • Education records
  • Provincial exam records
  • Certificates – CPR/ACLS Certifications
  • Finance records (receipts, financial transaction information consisting of Name on Credit Card, Payment Method, last 4 digits of card number, authorization number and payment amount)
  • Professional development activities
  • CASL subscription status
  • Other Regulatory Body information (if registered with another regulator, who that regulator is, their registration number and expiry date)
  • Also at risk is the type of credit card used and the last four digits of the card. The entire credit card number was NOT available as it is not stored in our system.

The College’s IT department is working in conjunction with our IT and software consultants to ensure that corrective action is being put in place to limit the adverse effects to our registrants. The College will be notifying the Privacy Commissioner of the breach first thing Monday morning.

The security of individual practitioner’s private and confidential information is of utmost importance to us. Should you have any questions please call our office at 587-783-4834. Otherwise we will continue to keep you informed through email.


Tim Essington, Registrar/Executive Director

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