Residents learn of cyber attack one month after breach

·2 min read

Many Uxbridge residents learned Monday that their personal information may have been compromised during a cyber attack at the Region of Durham at the end of last month.

An April 20 statement on the region’s website says that, on March 25, the Region of Durham “became aware of a cybersecurity incident that occurred with a third-party software provider.” It then posted a notice about the breach on its website on April 9. On Monday, one month after the breach, many Uxbridge residents received a letter in the mail from the region saying that this incident “may have impacted your personal information.”

The March 25 statement noted that regional IT teams “took immediate steps to secure [their] systems” and that the systems have since been secured. It also said that the matter is being investigated and that the appropriate authorities are involved.

According to the letter received by residents, the following information was said to possibly be compromised: details provided by the Township of Uxbridge related to property roll number, which may include name, property roll number, date of birth, citizenship, religion, school system, occupancy/tenants, occupants’/tenants’ date of birth and / or associated business names and addresses. The regional statement says that “some health, financial and/or other personal information” was accessed.

The mailed letter says, “It is important to note that there is no evidence confirming that all the information listed above was compromised or misused. We take the security of our personal information seriously. Out of an abundance of caution, we wanted to notify you of the incident.”

On Tuesday evening, after receiving calls from the public regarding the mailed-out letters, the Township of Uxbridge released a statment saying that the Township “takes the protection of private information very seriously,” and that extensive datat protection protocols are in place. The township noted that property information about roll number, property address, mailing address, owner names, legal address, tax classification, assessment values, religion, school board, and school support is publicly available through the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). It also stated that the Township does not send or share tax information or financial payment details with the region of Durham; that the tax department does not collect or store birth date information; and that the Township does not keep or store health information, including medical or health card data.

Both the letter from the region and the statement from the Township state that individuals may file a complaint with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario and that a dedicated regional call line for questions regarding the incident has been set up at 1-833-526-0566.

Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos