A former employee of Ontario’s 407 private freeway quit suddenly Wednesday as a Progressive Conservative candidate in next month’s election, barely an hour after the highway confirmed that information on 60,000 customers had been leaked through an “internal theft.”
The 407’s operator said earlier Wednesday it is notifying 60,000 of its customers that information about the motorists was divulged through an “internal theft” of names, addresses and phone numbers.
Local police and federal and provincial privacy agencies have also been notified of the breach, which the firm first learned about last week, said Kevin Sack, a spokesman for the 407 ETR Concession Company.
Sack, vice president of marketing and communications, said he could not speculate on how the information might have been used.
But there is some separate evidence it could have been employed to help recruit Conservative party members in internal campaigns.
The data did not include financial information such as credit cards or personal details like car licence numbers and customers’ trip history on the highway, Sack stressed in a statement. And he said there does not appear to have been any external attack of the computer system.
The risk of the information being used for identity theft or other financial harm is slim, but the 407 owners will offer free credit monitoring and identity-theft protection for a year to affected customers, they said. (...)
The National Post has seen what appears to be some of the purloined information, which suggests it was at one point in the hands of a company called D-Media. The name appears in the properties of the Excel file under the heading “last saved by.”
D-Media is linked to Snover Dhillon, an organizer who helped several would-be Progressive Conservative candidates recruit members as part of their drive to win PC nominations.