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Education | July 17, 2018

Cyberattack at Algonquin College exposes data of students, alumni, and faculty

Robert Beggs

Excerpt: A cyberattack at Algonquin College in the spring may have exposed the information — some detailed information — of thousands of individuals. 

In a press release, the college said hackers accessed one of its servers infected with malware illegally and without authorization on May 16. 

The college said an investigation is underway and has revealed no direct evidence that any data was actually accessed or taken in the cyberattack. No financial information, such as anyone's social insurance number or banking or credit card information, was exposed in the attack. 

However, the cyberattack may have exposed detailed information of 4,568 individuals, including date of birth and home address. 

There have been no reports of identity theft of other misuse, the press release said. 

The individuals — students and alumni — whose sensitive information was exposed were alerted to the attack by email Monday and will receive a letter through Canada Post. They are being offered identity theft protection "out of an abundance of caution," according to the college.

Another 106,931 individuals — including students, alumni and past and present employees — had "non-sensitive" information that may have been exposed during the attack. The college is in the process of contacting these individuals by mail, the press release said. 

Algonquin has contacted the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario and Ottawa police to help individuals "in the unlikely event that some misuse of information occurs."