Quebec daycare booking site hacked, data stolen from 5,000 families
MONTREAL -- Some 5,000 Quebec families had confidential information stolen in a hack of a central provincial daycare-booking website, officials say.
The group in charge of La Place 0-5, Quebec's portal to help parents find a daycare, say they have secured the breach that allowed a hacker to get his or her hands on the files. The site remains closed, however.
In a news release Tuesday, the Cooperative Enfance Family, which manages the site, explained that an "unauthorized person" got access to the daycare waiting list and downloaded the files of families on the list, including private information.
Quebec provincial police and a governmental cybersecurity office are both investigating, the release said.
According to La Presse, which first broke the story on Tuesday, the individual created an administrator-like access account, allowing them to get data hosted by the site's digital supplier. The individual allegedly had access to this data for three hours.
The confidential information stolen includes parents' names, telephone numbers, children's names, date of birth, date of registration on La Place 0-5 and civil status registration number.
It also included the NIREC -- a confidential identification "necessary for citizens who want to register their child for certain government programs or services," according to the Quebec government portal.
Passwords, however, were not compromised, the cooperative wrote.
The data of Family Minister Mathieu Lacombe, who has one child in daycare and another in school, was also allegedly stolen as part of the hack.
Although the hack occurred on Saturday evening, the Coopérative Enfance Famille says it was only notified on Monday after La Presse contacted it, seeking more information about the breach.
In a press release Tuesday, the Coopérative says it was "actively" collaborating with the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), the cyber-defence centre and the Family Ministry.
It said it plans to communicate quickly with the parents affected, but specifies that "as a preventive measure, the platform remains closed to conduct security tests and will be only be reopened once the investigation is complete."
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--With files from The Canadian Press