CIBC's Simplii and BMO investigating data hacks - MoneySense

CIBC's Simplii and BMO investigating hacks that may have leaked customer data

40,000 Simplii customers may be affected

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The CIBC sign in Toronto's financial district on Feb. 26, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Two of Canada’s largest financial institutions warn that data breaches may have leaked the banking information of thousands of customers.

Simplii Financial said Monday a hack may have compromised the personal and account information of about 40,000 customers.

READ: What to do if hackers hold your computer for ransom

The company issued a statement advising clients that it has “implemented additional online security measures” after it received a claim on Sunday that fraudsters may have electronically accessed certain personal and account information.

“We’re taking this claim seriously and have taken action to further enhance our monitoring and security procedures,” Michael Martin, senior vice-president of Simplii Financial, said in a statement.

“We feel that it is important to inform clients so that they can also take additional steps to safeguard their information.”

The company said there’s “currently no indication that clients who bank through CIBC have been affected.”

Simplii Financial is also reminding customers to use a complex password and pin.

The Bank of Montreal also said it is investigating claims some of its clients personal and financial information has been accessed. Just like Simplii, BMO said it was contacted by the fraudsters on Sunday.

“We took steps immediately when the incident occurred and we are confident that exposures identified related to customer data have been closed off. We have notified and are working with relevant authorities as we continue to assess the situation,” BMO said in a statement.

The bank said it believes the attack came from outside the country.

There is no word yet on how many customers have been affected.

Both banks are asking their clients to monitor their accounts for any signs of unusual or suspicious activity, and to report such activity to them.