Two Canadian banks say accounts compromised: CIBC 40,000 and BMO 50,000
Two Canadian banks warned Monday they have been targeted by hackers, and that the personal information of tens of thousands of customers may have been stolen — something that appeared to be confirmed in a letter to the media from someone who said they were demanding a $1-million ransom from the banks. CIBC-ownedSimplii Financial was the first to warn on Monday morningthat hackers had accessed thepersonal and account information of more than 40,000 of the bank’s customers. The bank said it received a tip over the weekend that hackers had obtained the data, and after a preliminary investigation decided to go public on Monday.
Then later Monday morning, Bank of Montreal revealed that it, too, had received a tip that ‘fraudsters’ had stolen data on up to 50,000 of the bank’s customers, ‘and a threat was made to make it public,’ BMO spokesperson Paul Gammal said. In BMO’s case, at least, the tipsters were the hackers themselves. Someone claiming to have the stolen data sent a letter to media outlets across Canada later in the day, threateningto sell the information to ‘criminals’ if the banks do not pay a $1-million ransom by 11:59 p.m.
The email ended with a sample of the information in question: the names, dates of birth, SIN and account balances of an Ontario man and a woman living in B.C. Simplii said its investigation is continuing, and it will continue to notify affected clients ‘through all channels’ if it is determined they have been compromised.