Two financial institutions investigating hacks, customer data may have been leaked


Bank of Montreal (BMO) and CIBC-owned Simplii Financial on Monday revealed that data of thousands of customers may have been breached in recent hacks on Canada’s two of the largest financial institutions.

The banks warned that “fraudsters” may have accessed some customer accounts.

Simplii Financial, which is CIBC’s direct banking brand, revealed that data from 40,000 client accounts may have been electronically accessed by fraudsters. BMO similarly said that it received a tip on Sunday that claimed the confidential information of “a limited number of customers” had been accessed.

Simplii said that it has “implemented additional online security measures”, which include online fraud monitoring and online banking security measures.

“We’re taking this claim seriously and have taken action to further enhance our monitoring and security procedures,” said Michael Martin, senior vice president of Simplii Financial, in a statement. “We feel that it is important to inform clients so that they can also take additional steps to safeguard their information.”

BMO said the hack appeared to have originated outside Canada. The tipsters, in BMO’s case, were reportedly the hackers themselves.

"We took steps immediately when the incident occurred and we are confident that exposures identified related to customer data have been closed off," BMO said. "We have notified and are working with relevant authorities as we continue to assess the situation. We are proactively contacting those customers that may have been impacted and we will support and stand by them."

"If a client is a victim of fraud because of this issue, we will return 100 per cent of the money lost from the affected bank account," a press release by Simplii said, adding that there is no indication that clients who bank through CIBC have been affected.

The bank also told customers to send any suspicious correspondence to fraud@simplii.com.

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