Ottawa french public school board paid hackers ransom after data breach –


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Ottawa’s French-language public school board says it was the victim of a data breach last month affecting current and former employees, as well as some students and their families.

In a cyberattack on Oct. 18 hackers gained access to the board’s computer network, the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The attack targeted 75 gigabytes of files on a server at the CEPEO’s main offices. It had personal information of current and former employees dating back to 2000.

That includes social insurance numbers, bank account details, credit card numbers and dates of birth, CEPEO said.

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The board also said a small number of current students, alumni and their families were affected.

The hackers were paid a ransom to get the data deleted, but CEPEO said there’s no way to confirm whether the attackers actually got rid of the files.

Global News has reached out to CEPEO to ask how much was paid in the exchange.

CEPEO is attempting to contact affected individuals and says it will provide them with a free credit monitoring service for a period of 24 months.

Meanwhile, the board said steps have been taken to secure its network as a result of the incident. It has conducted a full investigation over the past month and a half to determine the extent of the breach.

Law enforcement and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario were notified.

CEPEO has set up a website with additional information for those who might be affected.

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