Simon Fraser University reports cyberattack, some personal information exposed

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BURNABY, B.C. — Simon Fraser University says a cyberattack on a school server has exposed personal information.

The British Columbia university says in a statement that spreadsheet data on the breached server contained personal information for a number of current and former students, faculty, staff and student applicants.

The type of personal information stored in the spreadsheets varies by individual.

The university says the breach mostly involved student or employee identification numbers and at least one other data element, such as admission or academic standing.

It says banking details, social insurance numbers and passwords were not exposed.

The university says it is directly notifying everyone who has been affected if the school has a current email address on file while others can check their status online or by contacting the university's information technology helpdesk.

It says that although the risk of identity theft is low, those affected should monitor their personal accounts and memberships for unusual activity in the coming months.

“We recognize how frustrating it is for individuals who have had personal data exposed,” the statement says.

Information security is a high priority for the university, it adds.

“Cyberattack attempts are on the rise with increasingly sophisticated methods to gain entry into IT systems. In response, the university has been steadily increasing the strength of our institutional information security systems and continues to do so.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published for Feb. 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press