The credit monitoring agency, TransUnion Canada has said that the personal data of up to 37,000 Canadians may have been compromised in a data breach that hit the organisation during the summer of 2019.
According to TransUnion Canada, the information was accessed illegally in June and July after the login details of one of its legitimate business customers was obtained and fraudulently used.
Bosses at the company say that the breach was initially discovered in August, and privacy regulators as well as potential victims of the intrusion were notified of the situation in the immediate aftermath.
In an official statement, TransUnion Canada spokesperson, David Blumberg, underlined how investigations are still underway. Blumberg also highlighted how the company insists that the fraudulent activity does not mean that the TransUnion systems are at fault.
“The unauthorized access was not the result of a breach or failure of TransUnion’s systems or our customer’s system,” Blumberg said, without responding to requests for comment regarding the nature of the personal information caught up in the exposure.
The TransUnion Canada data breach comes in the wake of numerous high-profile breach scandals at other financial organisations. The company’s rival credit monitoring agency, Equifax, was hit by a major data breach in 2017, when the personal data of around 143 million customers worldwide were believed to have been compromised. It is believed that the private data of around 19,000 Canadians was also accessed illicitly.
In the summer, Capital One divulged a data breach whereby the information of around six million Canadian citizens was hacked by online criminals. Around one million social security numbers were caught up in the breach, while in June, Desjardins was hit by a leak which saw the accounts of around 2.7 million customers accessed unlawfully.
This latest security breach means that both of Canada’s credit monitoring agencies have fallen foul to major cyber-security incidents, exposing the personal and private data of thousands of Canadians. Both organisations put together credit reports that test individuals’ eligibility for loans and other financial services.
Blumberg underlined how TransUnion, which is based in Chicago, is continually seeking to galvanise its cyber-security and data privacy offering to give customers the best protection possible.
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