Cyber thieves may have stolen personal data of 90,000 people from two of the largest banks in Canada, including Bank of Montreal and Imperial Bank of Commerce. The banks are in the process of verifying the theft after the supposed culprits notified the financial institutions over the weekend that they were in possession of personal and financial records for a portion of their customers.
Bank of Montreal is the fourth largest bank in Canada. The institution said it was contacted on Sunday by the cyber thieves, who claim to have stolen customer data relating to some of its 8 million customers across Canada. At present, Bank of Montreal believes that less than 50,000 of its customers are affected by the security breach. It's not yet known if those affected lost any money from this ordeal as well.
The attackers also alerted Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on Sunday, Canada's fifth largest bank, claiming they had stolen personal and account information of 40,000 customers through the institution's Simplii direct banking subsidiary. CIBC has not confirmed that the cyber attack actually took place, but is currently looking into the matter. Customers at the bank's main division do not seem to be affected.
In both cases, the attackers have threatened to publish the customer data. It's not clear if they are trying to extort money from the banks in exchange for not publishing the data, and if so, how much they are requesting. Bank of Montreal things the attack came from outside of Canada, and that whatever attack vector that led to the theft of customer data is no longer accessible to the culprits.
The banks are currently in the process of contacting potentially affected customers. They are being advised to monitor their accounts, and to report any suspicious activity.