Manitoba

Credit unions across Canada targeted in cybersecurity incident, but no evidence data compromised: tech company

An unspecified number of credit unions in Manitoba and across Canada were hit by a targeted cybersecurity incident last week, and a company that provides digital technology services to credit unions says it has implemented a crisis response plan.

'We have received assurances that our network and systems are secure': technology services company Celero

Celero Systems said there is no evidence of compromised member data but some credit union members may find their access to online services affected during the response to the cybersecurity incident. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

An unspecified number of credit unions in Manitoba and across Canada were hit by a targeted cybersecurity incident last week, and a company that provides digital technology services to credit unions says it has implemented a crisis response plan.

Celero Solutions, a Calgary-based company, says it became aware of "unauthorized access to the company's systems" on June 8.

"We immediately convened our incident response team and took a number of security measures," the company said in a statement Monday to CBC News, attributed to Celero Communications. 

"We have received assurances that our network and systems are secure."

The company's website says its services are used by more than 115 credit unions and financial institutions across Canada. Celero did not indicate how many of those clients have been affected by the cybersecurity incident.

In an email to CBC on Friday, Celero said at that point, there was "no evidence of compromised member data or unauthorized access to member-facing systems."

"The ability of some members to access online services may be impacted due to individual credit union's actions as part of the ongoing investigation and response into the incident," the company said. 

'Incident was contained': Manitoba credit union

Sunrise Credit Union, which has 19 branches in southwestern Manitoba, says it experienced a cyber incident on June 8. 

It did not provide details on the incident, but it was "contained, and systems are secure," Sunrise president and CEO Tim Klassen said Tuesday.

"We initiated standard incident response processes, rapidly shutting down access, introducing strengthened security measures, and bringing on external experts to support an investigation," Klassen said.

"In-branch services have been limited," but members still had access to online and mobile app banking, as well as ATM and point-of-sale services, he said.

There is no evidence of compromised member data at this time, Klassen said.

Credit Union Central of Manitoba, the trade association for credit unions in the province, did not provide information on how many credit unions are affected. It referred CBC to Celero for information. 

"Credit unions are highly regulated and secure financial institutions who take cybersecurity seriously," said Amie Warkentin, director of strategic communications for Credit Union Central of Manitoba.

"The integrity of member data is a top priority for credit unions at all times. Credit unions take action on an ongoing basis to ensure the safety and security of their systems," she said in a Tuesday email to CBC.

Based in Calgary, with offices in Winnipeg, Celero's website says the company offers "a complete security solution that allows financial institutions to prepare for, defend against and respond to cyber attacks."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vera-Lynn Kubinec is a producer with CBC Manitoba's I-Team investigative unit, based in Winnipeg. vera-lynn.kubinec@cbc.ca

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