LifeLabs, Canada’s largest health laboratory test service, was the victim of a large-scale cyber attack on November 1, which exposed the private health records of nearly 15 million Canadians-mostly in Ontario and British Columbia-the company announced on Tuesday.
LifeLabs announced the violation of Ontario’s and British Columbia’s privacy regulators, met with cybersecurity experts and recovered the stolen data by charging an unspecified ransom to the anonymous hackers.
“LifeLabs has recently identified a cyber attack involving unauthorized access to our computer systems including customer information including name, age, email address, registration, passwords, date of birth, health vehicle, Health card number and testing test results, “wrote LifeLabs President and CEO Charles Brown in an open letter to clients.” Given the ransom, whether hackers ultimately want to reveal or transfer the stolen data is anyone’s guess, “said Vancouver-based cybersecurity specialist Richard Henderson.” What promises did they get from the perpetrators that the stolen data are actually deleted?”Henderson asked the Toronto Sun, adding:” Is it possible to believe such assurances?”In the meantime, LifeLabs apologized for the” proactive monitoring “violation they admit they found.
“We’re sorry-this incident happened. Evidence has been recovered and an investigation into law enforcement is underway,” tweeted LifeLabs.
In response to angry LifeLabs consumers on Facebook, the firm said 85,000 Ontarians ‘ test tests from 2016 or earlier were manipulated and would reach out personally to those affected.
“If you have received a test/service from any of the following facilities: LifeLabs, LifeLabs Genetics, Rocky Mountain Analytical LifeLabs, the knowledge is likely to be in our database,” tweeted LifeLabs.
Concerned consumers can also contact 1-888-918-0467 to find out whether their data was included in the infringement.
“LifeLabs also told the government that the inquiries by their cybersecurity companies have not seen any improper use or leakage of customer data,” said Hayley Chazan, an Ontario Ministry of Health spokesperson.
It didn’t take long for court action to be taken as a new class-action lawsuit was brought Tuesday by Charney Lawyers PC against LifeLabs in Toronto on behalf of a plaintiff who was examined at one of LifeLabs ‘ Brantford, Ontario sites.
LifeLabs offers a free year of security “that requires dark web surveillance and identity theft services” to reward consumers who lose their private health records in the hack.