Hackers Held Data on 5,000 Canadians Hostage and the Government Didn’t Tell Anyone

Justin Ling reports:

Last year, a clever piece of code grabbed the computers of a foreign company, and held them hostage — detaining information on 5,000 Canadian passport applicants in the process.

It was another Cryptowall case, but the foreign company was not named, and those Canadians whose passport applications were caught up in the incident were never notified.

Asked about the hack, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) — the department responsible for passport applications — admitted that it was aware, and never made the breach public.

“IRCC learned of this data breach in December 2014,” a spokesperson for the department said in an email. “It was not an IRCC privacy breach as it was not related to any IRCC departmental systems nor was this information under the control of the Government of Canada, and therefore IRCC was not able to contact those affected.”

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