A malicious government employee caused a major computer security breach at the Treasury Board. This data leak would have caused nearly 31,450 victims.
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The Sûreté du Québec is conducting an investigation into a data leak that took place at the Secretariat of the Treasury Board.
“Working documents that belong to the Government of Quebec as well as files that contain citizens’ personal information were found, on external computer media, at an employee’s home, which contravenes security practices in force,” the Treasury Board said in a statement.
The data that was found is, in the vast majority of cases, the surnames, first names and social insurance numbers of citizens.
2009 to 2012
“The data targeted by this breach of confidentiality mainly concerns personal information of nearly 31,450 individuals, contained in databases created between 2009 and 2012 and related to the process of qualifying candidates,” the document points out.
The victims affected by this breach of confidentiality will be informed soon and Quebec will put in place the necessary support measures with these people.
The Information Access Commission and the Government Cyber Defense Center have been seized of the situation.
When the Cyber Defense Center was created, the minister responsible for the file, Éric Caire, had promised to be transparent when security breaches were discovered.
The latter also argued that Quebec organizations should focus more on internal threats, which is where data leaks often come from.
Last November, the Auditor General of Quebec noted in a report that government organizations are still susceptible to massive data leaks, such as at Desjardins, because officials still use risky equipment, such as USB keys.
In response to the VG, Minister Caire had mentioned that the transformation to improve security is already underway, citing the creation of the Ministry of Cybersecurity and Digital.