Officials reassess size of Canadian credit union data breach

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Canada’s largest financial cooperative now says a June data breach was more than 50% larger than first believed.

The Desjardins Group has informed members that a June data breach impacted 4.2 million members rather than the 2.7 million initially reported. The group was informed by the Quebec Provincial Police on Oct. 31, and, "In the spirit of transparency, we decided to inform our members as quickly as possible," Chantal Corbeil, a Desjardins spokesperson, said in an e-mail.

The breach was caused by an internal employee, an occurrence that accounts for 34% of breaches, according to the 2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report.

The affected data included social insurance numbers, addresses and members’ banking habits.

According to Corbeil, all Desjardins members in Quebec and Ontario who hold access to an AccèsD account will be eligible for a five-year Equifax credit monitoring service. Desjardins will cover the service in full.

“We’ve previously made it clear that we wanted to enhance the Desjardins identity protection service,” Corbeil said. Desjardins President Denis Dubois “had already been planning to announce the expansion of the service during his November 1 appearance at the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, which he did," she added.

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Data breaches Cyber security Canada