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22 B.C. government employee emails feared hacked in cyberattack

Province says inboxes contained personal information on 19 employees
The B.C. government says the hackers behind a recent cyberattack on the province may have accessed the email inboxes of 22 government employees. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Sensitive personal information on 19 B.C. government employees may have been hacked during a recent trio of cyberattacks on the province.

The head of the B.C. Public Service, Shannon Salter, issued the update in a memo to employees on Monday (June 3). Salter said hackers may have accessed the email inboxes of 22 government workers and through them gotten their hands on the employee personnel files of 19 staffers.

One of those employees had family information in their inbox, Salter said. All of them have been notified.

“At this point in time, we have not identified that any sensitive information collected by government in the delivery of public services was accessed,” Salter said.

She added that they also haven’t found any indication that the hackers have accessed specific files or used the employee information against them. As a precaution though, Salter said the province is providing the impacted employees with two years of credit monitoring and identity protection services.

The exact source of the trio of cyberattacks, which came in April and early May, isn’t known but the province has said that information collected by the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security suggests they were most likely carried out by a foreign state or foreign-state sponsored actor.

READ ALSO: B.C. says state or state-sponsored actor likely behind cyber-attacks

Speaking with reporters on Monday afternoon, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth declined to comment on where the impacted individuals rank in the government’s organizational structure or which ministries they work for.

He said no cabinet members were targeted, though, and that more information will be available as B.C. continues to investigate the attacks with the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security.

-With files from Wolf Depner

About the Author: Jane Skrypnek

Hi, I'm a provincial reporter with Black Press Media, where I've worked since 2020.
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