Canadian Lab Test Firm LifeLabs Pays Ransom After Data Breach
LifeLabs, the largest provider of specialty laboratory testing services in Canada, recently identified a cyber-attack that involved unauthorized access to their computer systems with customer information that could include name, address, email, login, passwords, date of birth, health card number and lab test results.
According to LifeLabs, the data breach possibly impacted 15 million individuals. Charles Brown, President and CEO of LifeLabs, says, "Personally, I want to say I am sorry that this happened. As we manage through this issue, my team and I remain focused on the best interests of our customers. You entrust us with important health information, and we take that responsibility very seriously."
He notes that Lifelabs has taken several measures to protect their customer information including:
- Immediately engaging with world-class cybersecurity experts to isolate and secure the affected systems and determine the scope of the breach;
- Further strengthening our systems to deter future incidents;
- Retrieving the data by making a payment. "We did this in collaboration with experts familiar with cyber-attacks and negotiations with cyber criminals," says Brown.
- Engaging with law enforcement, who are currently investigating the matter; and
- Offering cybersecurity protection services to customers, such as identity theft and fraud protection insurance.
"I want to emphasize that at this time, our cybersecurity firms have advised that the risk to our customers in connection with this cyber-attack is low and that they have not seen any public disclosure of customer data as part of their investigations, including monitoring of the dark web and other online locations," says Brown.
Lifelabs notes they have fixed the system issues related to the criminal activity and worked to put in place additional safeguards to protect your information. "While we’ve been taking steps over the last several years to strengthen our cyber defenses, this has served as a reminder that we need to stay ahead of cybercrime which has become a pervasive issue around the world in all sectors," Brown says.