In The News: Bell Canada Hit By Another Security Breach

Thursday, February 15, 2018 3:41 pm, Posted by Absolute Destruction

Last year, the Absolute Destruction & Recycling blog started a brand-new feature called In The News. While many of our posts focus on world-wide security breaches that affect millions of people, In The News is an opportunity to cast a tight net and explore issues affecting the GTA. Moving once again from the macro to micro, we present our very first instalment of In The News of 2018. But perhaps today, it should be called In The News Again, as Bell Canada is once again the target of a cyberattack. The hack — which happened sometime in January of this year — has exposed fewer than 100,000 customers.

Our regular readers will remember Bell was the focus of our June 2017 edition of In The News. Then, it was revealed 1.9 million customer emails were stolen. Canada’s largest telecom giant would not say if there was a connection between these two hacks.

On the surface, January’s breach seems less dire. But, in delving a little deeper, the most recent hack could pose more danger to customers. Though fewer customers were affected overall — a tiny fraction of Bell’s total 22 million customers — those whose information was stolen had more details exposed than those affected by 2017’s breach.

The information obtained in the hack includes:

  • Names
  • Email addresses
  • Account usernames and number
  • Phone numbers

Luckily, no credit card numbers or other banking information was compromised in the breach. But the nature of the breach does increase these customers’ chances of being targets of future phishing attacks.

Email addresses attached to contact information and usernames tip spammers off to the fact that these customers have accounts with Bell. They can exploit this relationship by posing as Bell, sending customers false emails filled with accurate information regarding their accounts. When done well, these emails can trick people into thinking they’re real bills. There’s a danger if these customers click any of the links and send payments to these scammers.

There’s a silver lining to Bell disclosing the extent of their breach with transparency. It gives any Bell customers the opportunity to change compromised profile information, including passwords and usernames. Customers will also have the chance to check their credit report to confirm this recent breach hasn’t affected their finances.

Bell now joins the ranks of other large companies like Uber and Yahoo that have been the target of hackers. With data theft on the rise, consumers are increasingly wary about sharing their personal information online. If you own a business that collects this kind of data, it’s important that you use all resources available to ensure your small business protects its customers’ information.

As you patch your online systems, don’t ignore the risk your physical data poses. Paper files and obsolete electronics that hold customer information or corporate property can be exploited if disposed of incorrectly. Make sure you speak with us, the document destruction experts, before you throw out any confidential material.

Though we’re the best shredding services Toronto has to offer, we offer our full range of services all around the GTA. If you need our services in Vaughan, one of our local crews will make sure your company is secure.

Our crews are available even if you don’t own a small business. Many of our clients are homeowners who scheduled our paper shredding services in Oakville. They secured our help only after they had noticed suspicious activity on their credit report.

Whether you were affected by the Bell hacks or not, get in touch to see how we can schedule our pick-ups to best suit your needs. Once we arrive at a time that works for you, we’ll protect your company, your home, and your good name from threats of identity theft.

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