Bell Canada is alerting customers after hackers illegally accessed customer information, the telecom giant said.Police are investigating the new data breach which says hackers have illegally obtained customer information, primarily subscriber names and e-mail addresses.
Bell said there was no indication that credit card or other banking information was taken.
BCE Inc.-owned Bell confirmed Tuesday that up to 100,000 customers were affected by the hack, which comes about eight months after hackers accessed nearly 1.9 million Bell customer e-mail addresses as well as 1,700 names and phone numbers.
Several customers on Tuesday reported receiving an e-mail from John Watson, executive vice-president of customer experience at Bell, informing them that some of their customer information was illegally accessed.
Watson apologized for the breach and advised affected subscribers: “It is good practice to change your passwords and security questions frequently and to regularly review all your service and financial accounts for any suspicious activity.”
BCE spokesman Mark Langton said, “We apologize to our customers and are contacting all those affected. There is an active RCMP investigation of the incident and Bell has notified appropriate government agencies including the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.”
Langton said Bell – which is Canada’s largest communications company and has almost 22 million combined wireless, television, internet and home telephone customers – works closely with police and other government agencies to address cyber crime, adding, “we have successfully supported law enforcement in past prosecutions of hackers.”