Bank of Montreal reportedly said it believed the attack originated from outside of Canada and was confident that any vulnerabilities that led to the theft of customer data had been closed off.
The bank is promising to fully reimburse clients who suffer from the apparent fraud and advising those who see suspicious account activity to contact the bank. Royal Bank, Scotiabank and Toronto-Dominion Bank said they have no indication they were affected.
BMO and Simplii did the right thing in being quick to assure customers that their money is safe and that they're working diligently to improve security, said Barry Waite, chair of the communications department at Centennial College.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner said Monday that it has been notified by both financial institutions, but that it is not launching a formal investigation at this point. We are proactively contacting those customers that may have been impacted and we will support and stand by them.
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"We became aware of unverified claims that customer personal and financial data may have been accessed by a fraudster and a threat was made to make it public". CIBC said customers at its main banking division were not affected. For Simplii's part, the bank said "we are continuing to work with cybersecurity experts, law enforcement and others to protect our Simplii clients' data and interests".
"This is important financial information, and a lot of damage can occur..."
In order to ensure the integrity of the stolen data, hackers have now demanded a random of $1 Million worth of XRP, otherwise, they promise to leak the personal data online.
Simplii, CIBC's direct banking brand, says 40,000 clients may be affected.
However, the incident involving BMO and Simplii varies from more standard efforts to either use the data itself to profit or to try and sell it to third parties - which makes it harder for companies to set up defensive plans, said Kabilan.