(ONTARIO) – Lifelabs, Canada’s largest diagnostic, naturopathic and genetic testing provider has stated that their computer systems have been hacked. Approximately 15 million people could be impacted. The statement was made on their website where they say it was discovered through “proactive surveillance”.
Lifelabs has three locations in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
An investigation has been started by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia.
Below is the statement released by President and CEO of LifeLabs.
To our customers:
Through proactive surveillance, LifeLabs recently identified a cyber-attack that involved unauthorized access to our computer systems with customer information that could include name, address, email, login, passwords, date of birth, health card number and lab test results.
Personally, I want to say I am sorry that this happened. As we manage through this issue, my team and I remain focused on the best interests of our customers. You entrust us with important health information, and we take that responsibility very seriously.
We have taken several measures to protect our customer information including:
- Immediately engaging with world-class cyber security experts to isolate and secure the affected systems and determine the scope of the breach;
- Further strengthening our systems to deter future incidents;
- Retrieving the data by making a payment. We did this in collaboration with experts familiar with cyber-attacks and negotiations with cyber criminals;
- Engaging with law enforcement, who are currently investigating the matter; and
- Offering cyber security protection services to our customers, such as identity theft and fraud protection insurance.
I want to emphasize that at this time, our cyber security firms have advised that the risk to our customers in connection with this cyber-attack is low and that they have not seen any public disclosure of customer data as part of their investigations, including monitoring of the dark web and other online locations.
We have fixed the system issues related to the criminal activity and worked around the clock to put in place additional safeguards to protect your information. In the interest of transparency and as required by privacy regulations, we are making this announcement to notify all customers. There is information relating to approximately 15 million customers on the computer systems that were potentially accessed in this breach. The vast majority of these customers are in B.C. and Ontario, with relatively few customers in other locations. In the case of lab test results, our investigations to date of these systems indicate that there are 85,000 impacted customers from 2016 or earlier located in Ontario; we will be working to notify these customers directly. Our investigation to date indicates any instance of health card information was from 2016 or earlier.
While you are entitled to file a complaint with the privacy commissioners, we have already notified them of this breach and they are investigating the matter. We have also notified our government partners.
While we’ve been taking steps over the last several years to strengthen our cyber defenses, this has served as a reminder that we need to stay ahead of cybercrime which has become a pervasive issue around the world in all sectors.
Any customer who is concerned about this incident can receive one free year of protection that includes dark web monitoring and identity theft insurance.
President and CEO