Montreal

SQ questions 17 people who may have tried to acquire leaked Desjardins data

Provincial police questioned 17 people Thursday in connection with the data breach at Desjardins that affected more than 2.7 million members. They say most of the people being questioned tried to acquire the leaked personal information

Investigators say only one Desjardins employee involved in leak

Guy Cormier, president and CEO of Desjardins Group, announced in June that a now-fired employee shared the information of millions of customers. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Quebec provincial police said Thursday they were questioning 17 people in connection with the data breach at Desjardins that affected more than 2.7 million members.

Sûreté du Quebec Sgt. Claude Denis said police still believe only one rogue Desjardins employee was responsible for the breach.

"Most of the people interviewed today are people who tried to acquire the list or part of the list," Denis said, referring to the list of personal information leaked which included names, addresses, birth dates, social insurance numbers, email addresses and information about transaction habits.

He called the people being interviewed "persons of interest."

Denis said the interrogations followed the execution of six search warrants earlier this week at four residences and two businesses in Laval, Montreal and Quebec City.

He said police met 91 witnesses and seized computer equipment which is now being analyzed.

Officials at Desjardins Group revealed the data breach in June.

They said an employee improperly collected information about customers and shared it with a third party outside the financial institution.

Desjardins flagged a suspicious transaction to Laval police last December, and it took several months for the institution to learn the scope of the scheme.

The employee hasn't yet been charged.

Desjardins is the largest federation of credit unions in North America, with outlets across Quebec and Ontario.

About the Author

Steve Rukavina is a journalist with CBC Montreal.

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