Kitchener-Waterloo

Accommod8u fires back against data posted online 'without context'

The student housing company Accommod8u is firing back against allegations of poor maintenance at its properties in the wake of a data leak that saw two years worth of maintenance requests posted publicly to Reddit.

Maintenance requests are normal for apartment buildings, spokesperson says

(Reddit)

The student housing company Accommod8u is firing back against allegations of poor maintenance at its properties in Waterloo in the wake of a data leak that saw two years worth of maintenance requests posted publicly to Reddit.

The anonymous Reddit user behind the post said the number of requests and the time it took management to deal with them painted a picture of "disregard" on the part of Accommod8u.

According to a spokesperson for Accommod8u, the information posted online lacked context and background.

"It is not a criticism of a company that maintenance requests are filed — they happen at apartment buildings across the region, across the city, across the province, every property manager or company," said spokesperson Danny Roth, who works with an external public relations firm.

"That's exactly what they're supposed to do is to have a system to receive property management requests or work orders from tenants and to address them."

Roth said many factors can affect the time it takes to respond to maintenance requests, such as tenants not being home during a scheduled maintenance appointment.

Overall, he said Accommod8u does a good job of maintaining its buildings and dealing with problems quickly.

Security 'highest priority'

Roth also took aim at the "illegitimate" way the information was obtained.

In the Reddit user's report, the user said the information was gained through a security flaw in the Accommod8u tenant portal.

"It is relatively easy to access the portal by finding the email of tenants and entering the default password used for the portal," the user wrote.

Roth said he couldn't comment about whether Accommod8u encourages tenants to change their default passwords, but said the company has been following the advice of its digital providers.

"We continue to take digital security, as well as physical security of our tenants in our care, as our our highest priority," he said. "And we will continue to do our utmost to protect and ensure the security of both digital information and obviously our residents."

Roth said the company is taking the leak seriously and has alerted authorities about it.

Separately, the Waterloo Regional Police Service said they are investigating.

The user behind the hack has not confirmed their identity, or whether it is a single person or a group of people.

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