April 1, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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COVID-19: 360,000 people affected by data theft in Ontario

COVID-19: 360,000 people affected by data theft in Ontario

A security breach related to Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine portal has exposed the personal information of about 360,000 people in the province.

“In more than 95% of cases, only names and/or phone numbers were affected,” the Ontario Ministry of Business and Public Service Delivery said in a statement.

Affected individuals will begin receiving email notifications starting Friday if their personal information was part of the breach, CTV News reported.

On November 16, 2021, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) began an investigation after learning that individuals who had made appointments or accessed vaccination certificates through the Covid-19 immunization system had received suspicious emails.

A week later, two people were charged – one of them a government employee. Ottawa resident Ayub Saeed, 21, and Quebec resident Rahim Abdu, 22, were both charged with unauthorized use of a computer.

“Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine reservation system is regularly monitored and tested under the Ministry of Health’s cybersecurity protocols, and we are confident that the reservation system will continue to be a safe and secure tool that Ontarians can use,” the minister said.

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