Hackers may have obtained the personal data of 15 million LifeLabs customers after a systems breach, and this includes addresses, passwords, birthdays, health card numbers and even lab results.
In an open letter to the firm’s customers, LifeLabs disclosed it had become aware of a recent hack to its computer systems which contained customer information, names and logins.
It didn’t specify exactly who had hacked the system but LifeLabs alerted the Ontario and B.C. privacy commissioners of the hack on Nov. 1. LifeLabs also said it paid ransom to secure the data.
The letter from the Canadian laboratory services provider said the majority of these customers were in British Columbia and Ontario, with “relatively few customers” in other locations.
When it came to lab results, LifeLabs said the hack affected 85,000 of its Ontario customers from 2016 or earlier.
“Our investigation to date indicates any instance of health card information was from 2016 or earlier,” the letter added.
In the letter, LifeLabs President and CEO Charles Brown said that the risk to customers from the data breach was low. He also said cybersecurity firms told them they hadn’t seen a public disclosure of the customer data online, including on the dark web or other online locations.
Brown also personally apologized for the hack and said, “my team and I remain focused on the best interests of our customers.”
Following the advice of cybersecurity experts, he said they retrieved “the data by making a payment.” Brown said LifeLabs has also been in touch with law enforcement, its government partners and notified privacy commissioners.
According to a joint statement from the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, LifeLabs had reported the hack to them on Nov. 1 and said that the hackers had been demanding a ransom.
The privacy commissioners’ co-ordinated investigation will examine the extent of the breach, what led up to it and what – if anything — could have been done to prevent it.
“An attack of this scale is extremely troubling. I know it will be very distressing to those who may have been affected. This should serve as a reminder to all institutions, large and small, to be vigilant,” Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario Brian Beamish said in the statement.
Information, and Privacy Commissioner for B.C. Michael McEvoy added, “our independent offices are committed to thoroughly investigating this breach. We will publicly report our findings and recommendations once our work is complete.”
Going forward, LifeLabs CEO pledged the company will strengthen its system to deter future hacks.
LifeLabs said it is offering “any customer who is concerned about this incident” a free year of protection including dark web monitoring and identity theft insurance from American consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion.
This is a breaking news story. More to come…
Nova Scotia goes 5 days without new case of COVID-19 – CBC.ca
Nova Scotia reported no new cases of COVID-19 for a fifth straight day Sunday.
The province has one known active case.
One person remains in hospital in intensive care, according to a release from the Department of Health and Wellness.
The latest case was announced Tuesday and involves an essential worker from the western zone who travelled outside of the country.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority completed 878 Nova Scotia tests on Saturday.
The province has recorded 92,348 negative test results, 1,087 positive COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths since March.
The latest numbers from around the Atlantic bubble are:
Anyone with one of the following symptoms of COVID-19 should visit the 811 website to see if they should call 811 for further assessment:
- Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
Anyone with two or more of the following symptoms is also asked to visit the 811 website:
- Sore throat.
- Shortness of breath.
- Runny nose.
US Reportedly Curbs Exports From Chinese Chipmaker SMIC For ‘Unacceptable Risks’ – Sputnik International
Previously, reports suggested the US Department of Defense was considering adding Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) to an Entity List along with Huawei, ZTE and more than 70 Chinese tech firms, barred from doing business with US firms without a licence, as part of the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing.
The United States Department of Commerce has reportedly sanctioned China’s biggest chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), curbing exports from the company, according to a letter cited by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Saturday.
According to the Commerce Department’s dispatch to the Shanghai-based firm, the WSJ reports, US companies will now need a licence to export certain products to China’s largest chipmaker, because of the “unacceptable risk” that SMIC products could be used for military purposes.
An SMIC spokeswoman cited by the WSJ said in an emailed statement that the firm had not yet received an official notice of the sanctions and was looking into the situation.
The chipmaker reiterated that it has no relationship with the Chinese armed forces and does not manufacture goods for any military end-users or uses.
There has not been any official comment on the report from the US Commerce Department.
Escalated US Attack
Earlier reports in September suggested the Trump administration was considering adding the firm to a government Entity List along with Huawei, ZTE and more than 70 Chinese tech firms which are barred from conducting business with US firms.
Adding SMIC to the Commerce Department’s so-called entity list would in effect target exports from a broader set of companies.
“The military end-use rules only apply to a subset of listed US origin items. The Entity List rules apply to all US origin and some foreign-origin items,” said Kevin Wolf, an export control lawyer at Akin Gump and senior Commerce Department official in the Obama administration, as cited by Bloomberg.
Around 50 per cent of SMIC’s equipment originates from the US, with the company having a market value of more than $29 billion, according to Bloomberg data, with US chipmakers Qualcomm Inc. and Broadcom Inc. among SMIC’s customers.
“Should the US export ban on SMIC materialise, it will signal an escalated attack by the US on China’s semiconductor industry and more Chinese companies will likely be included,” analyst Edison Lee of the American multinational independent investment bank and financial services company Jefferies said.
In the wake of the above-mentioned reports, the Chinese semiconductor company reiterated that it strictly abides by the laws and regulations of relevant nations while having maintained cooperative relations with global chipmaking equipment suppliers for years.
“Any assumptions of the company’s ties with the Chinese military are untrue statements and false accusations. The Company is in complete shock and perplexity at the news. Nevertheless, SMIC is open to sincere and transparent communication with the US Government agencies in hope of resolving potential misunderstandings,” SMIC said in a statement on its website.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian slammed Washington over “blatant bullying.”
“What it has done is violated international trade rules, undermined global industrial supply and value chains and will inevitably hurt US national interests and its own image,” Zhao told a news briefing in Beijing.
China’s Tech Giants in the Crosshairs
The US Department of Commerce added dozens of internationally based Huawei affiliates to its Entity list in August 2020, restricting their ability to do business with American firms. The decision expanded on rules issued in May subjecting companies to enhanced licensing requirements if they sold third-party computer chips or chip designs to Huawei that rely on US software or manufacturing equipment.
Back in 2019 the department essentially banned US companies from selling parts and components to 68 Huawei affiliates, allowing, however, for temporary waivers that enabled limited transactions to ease the transition for American suppliers.
Those waivers expired in August 2020, with a fresh order subjecting an additional 38 Huawei affiliates around the world to similar restrictions.
Fresh measures on the part of Washington could block Huawei from gaining access to chipsets, in yet another stinging blow to the Shenzhen-based tech giant.
REUTERS / Dado Ruvic
Earlier this month China had launched plans to boost the mainland chipmaker and others, seeking to distance itself from US technologies.
Sanctions targeting the Chinese partially state-owned publicly-listed semiconductor foundry company, SMIC, would come as yet another step in the escalating tensions between the US and China, that have been exchanging invective on issues ranging from trade, their respective governments’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and perceived threats to intellectual property and national security.
The Trump administration began its onslaught by blacklisting Huawei Technologies Co., preventing the giant Chinese telecommunications provider from buying components from American suppliers and pressuring allies to follow suit.
REUTERS / Florence Lo/Illustration
Subsequently, President Donald Trump threatened to ban the video app TikTok from China’s ByteDance Ltd. if the service weren’t sold to American owners, sparking indignation among Chinese executives and government officials, who have repeatedly dismissed all allegations of spying and presenting a security threat.
Recall notice issued on spaghetti sauce that could cause botulism – Montreal Gazette
A brand of spaghetti sauce sold in Quebec has been recalled by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The sauce, made by Érablière Godbout, could cause botulism, according to an advisory by the agency.
The sauce did not have a “keep refrigerated” label on the jars.
The spaghetti sauce, which was sold in 500 millilitre and one litre jars, should be returned to the store or thrown out.
No one has fallen ill after eating the sauce, but the recall has been ordered as a precaution, the agency said in a news release.
Symptoms in adults can include facial paralysis or loss of facial expression, fixed pupils, difficulty swallowing, drooping eyelids, blurred or double vision, slurred speech and hoarseness.
Symptoms of botulism in children can include difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, generalized weakness and paralysis.
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