Government orders external audit to probe cyber attack at Quebec daycare booking site
MONTREAL -- Following an embarrassing data breach of a provincial daycare booking website that exposed the personal information of more than 5,000 families in Quebec, the province is ordering an external audit to find out how it might have happened.
On Tuesday, the government said it was made aware of a hack over the weekend that targeted Place 0-5, Quebec's portal to help parents find a daycare spot. As of Wednesday, the website was still down.
The minister responsible for families in Quebec, Mathieu Lacombe, who himself was allegedly targeted in the cyber attack, ordered an external audit Wednesday to secure the website data.
"As a dad, and like thousands of other parents in Quebec, I am very concerned about the hacking that occurred Saturday night. Beyond this situation, I am concerned about several other issues, particularly concerning access, management and security of data," Lacome said in a news release.
"As minister of families, I must act and go even further. That is why I have personally asked for assurances that confidential data will remain confidential and why I have asked that an external auditor be appointed."
The government said it will deploy a team of cybersecurity experts "whose mandate will be to analyze the security of data management on the one-stop shop and to recommend the necessary actions to correct the situation so that the best practices in this area are implemented."
Cooperative Enfance Family, an independent organization of the government, manages Place 0-5. After the cyberattack was revealed, it said that an "unauthorized person" got access to the daycare waiting list and downloaded the files of families on the list, including private information.
Some of the stolen information includes parents' names, telephone numbers, children's names, date of birth, date of registration on La Place 0-5 and civil status registration number.
Although the hack occurred on Saturday evening, Cooperative Enfance Famille said it was only notified on Monday after La Presse contacted it, seeking more information about the breach.
Provincial police as well as a government cybersecurity office continue to investigate the hack.