CPA Canada Hit by CyberAttack, Over 329,000 Canadians’ Data Compromised

Canadians’ Data Compromised

Jun 9, 2020, Kathmandu

A cyberattack on the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada websportal has compromised the personal information of over 329,000 members and stakeholders.

Reports say that a group of unknown hackers attacked the CPA website and got access to information related to the distribution of its magazine.

The data breach has exposed information, including names, home addresses, email addresses, and other sensitive data. CPA Canada said that passwords and credit card numbers were protected by encryption.

“There is no evidence that the encryption keys were affected in this incident, and we have no reason to believe the encryption was compromised,” the company said.

CPA Canada is a national organization that represents the Canadian accounting profession. It has over 210,000 chartered accountants around the globe. It researches business issues, assists businesses, non-profits, and the government in accounting, auditing, and assurance standards.

How is CPA Canada Handling the Incident?

According to CPA Canada, the cyberattack occurred somewhere between Nov 30, 2019, and May 1, 2020.

Moreover, the company warned about the risks of potential email phishing scams following the breach. It also encouraged affected users to “remain vigilant.”

Following the incident, CPA Canada claimed to have beefed up its security measures. It has contacted the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and privacy authorities for getting more hands-on-deck investigating the incident.

The company states that it worked closely with cybersecurity experts to investigate the cyberattack further. “In addition to notifying potentially affected individuals directly, we have contacted law enforcement, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, and privacy authorities where applicable,” the company said.

Furthermore, it has issued a notice warning users not to indulge in providing personal information if they receive a phone call, email, or text message. “Please exercise caution and ensure that you are speaking to a CPA Canada representative. If you have received a fraudulent, please report it to the Anti-Fraud Centre through its online portal,” the company said.

Survey Shows Canadians Refuse to Divulge Personal Data

A survey report shows that Canadians refuse to share personal information to access free online services.

Only 26 percentage of respondents admitted that they are willing to provide personal information for a better video streaming service.

Similarly, around 23% of Canadians revealed that they disclose personal details to use social media platforms.

How to Protect Yourself as Individuals?

Former IS Audit Manager at Biz Serve IT Pvt. Ltd, Raman Gautam says that information security professionals are always trying their best to prevent such type of attacks.

However, he believes that there are specific responsibilities as individuals to protect ourselves from such attacks. “As an individual, we should also follow some basic information security hygiene to protect ourselves,” Mr. Gautam said.`

As users and customers, we can always ask ourselves if we are protected enough. But. There are certain precautions that we can adopt to secure ourselves.

While we work from home, there are inevitable tech mistakes to avoid scams and other cyber threats. The most basic precautions include updating passwords and applications.

Thus, one should never hesitate to seek help from experts. Raising awareness and seeking advice are critical factors in avoiding the risks of cyberattacks.

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