OSSTF confirms current and past members’ information compromised in cyberattack

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The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) is confirming to Global News that a number of its current and past members’ information was breached in a cyberattack.

The organization discovered a third party accessed and encrypted its system between May 24 and May 30, 2022.

The organization did not confirm how many people were impacted but did confirm that the hack involved current and past people employed by OSSTF.

A letter obtained by Global News about the hack stated that a person who had been employed as a student 10 years prior had their social insurance number and address compromised.

When asked how long the OSSTF holds onto past employees’ personal information, the organization said it “collects and retains personal information for various legal and business purposes.”

“We are currently re-assessing our needs for some of the personal information that we manage to ensure that we retain personal information only for as long as required to fulfill our legitimate legal and business purposes,” the organization said in a statement.

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Once discovering the hack, the organization said it took immediate action and hired a cybersecurity firm to determine the scope and the nature of the information involved.

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The organization said members were notified about the incident at the time.

Staff say it took several months before an investigation was complete to determine the full extent of the hack.

The OSSTF is currently reaching out to all current and retired members with details about the personal information involved in the incident.

“While we have no evidence at this time of misuse of the data, depending on the type of personal information impacted, OSSTF/FEESO may provide to affected individuals credit monitoring and identity theft protection services with Equifax at our expense for a period of one year,” the organization said in a statement.

“We regret any concern or inconvenience this incident may cause to our valued members. OSSTF/FEESO takes the protection of the personal information of our members seriously, and we are committed to taking all necessary steps to prevent a similar incident from reoccurring.”

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