Telecom Company Bell Canada Suffers Data Breach Resulting in Leak of Customer Data

Media Division | May 16, 2017

Cyber attacks have truly become one of the most growing issues within our digital society.  Every day, organizations continue to be hit and have their valuable assets and funds stolen, systems compromised, and other terrible damages. Being that we now essentially rely on technology for a large amount of operations and functions within our society, cyber attackers have a wide variety of targets available.  In yet another attack, the large telecom company Bell Canada was breached, and a large amount of customer information was leaked by an unknown group.

Information Affected in the Breach

Bell has not released many details of the attack, such as the method used.  They state that this is because of security reasons and the police investigation currently underway.  The data affected included close to 1.9 million customer email addresses, as well as 1,700 names and phone numbers.  The group claiming responsibility for the attack has remained anonymous, but they had stated in an online post that they were leaking the information due to Bell’s failure to cooperate with them, as well as said that more will be leaked if this continues. The post had not included any information in regard to what kind of cooperation they were referring to, but it did offer a link which was said to contain the customer information.  According to reports, Bell had initially been aware of the breach since at least last Wednesday, but it was not publicly announced until after the anonymous posting on Monday. Bell had stated that they did not announce the breach immediately upon discovery because they planned on notifying customers once they had more details.

How Bell Worked to Address the Breach

Fortunately, Bell has said that there does not appear to have been any sensitive personal information affected, such as financial data or passwords. Though, Bell has been contacting the affected customers directly to notify them and has advised them to regularly change their passwords and security questions, as well as watch out for suspicious emails. Bell had worked to rapidly address and investigate the breach, saying in a statement, “Bell took immediate steps to secure affected systems. The company has been working closely with the RCMP cyber crime unit in its investigation and has informed the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.” The commissioner’s office has said that they are expecting a full report on the breach from Bell soon, but could not provide any further details of the incident due to privacy law. Perhaps further information will be released once the investigation is completed and the report is provided.

The Increased Targeting of Telecommunications by Cyber Attackers

Realistically, cyber attackers target any organization that they can obtain illicit gains from, but telecommunications can be a very valuable target for them. They can disrupt communications in various parts of the world, steal data like the above, and cause various other malicious damages. Telecommunications organizations need to ensure that their data and systems are properly protected with the range of implements that are currently extant in cyber security.  Data breaches and cyber attacks can truly destroy an organization if they do not properly mitigate the incident, which is why it is obviously more ideal to prevent them through formidable and proactive cyber security.  Lacking security is not a commodity that any organization can afford. Massive Alliance offers a wide array of security tools to ensure that telecommunications organizations and their digital assets are protected from cyber attacks.

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