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Data stolen during 'cyber incidents' at Waterloo Region District School Board

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Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) says it’s working on restoring its IT system and safeguarding personal information after what it’s calling “cyber incidents.”

An internal memo sent to staff on Wednesday and verified by CTV News revealed data was stolen in the incident that was first brought to the board’s attention over a week ago.

The board declined CTV News’ request for an interview, but provided an emailed statement confirming it was “the most recent target of cyber incidents.”

WRDSB communications officer Estefania Brandenstein said it could take weeks to fully investigate what happened and what’s been impacted.

“We intend to do whatever is within our ability to resolve this issue,” Brandenstein said in the email.

DATA STOLEN

In an internal email sent to staff on Wednesday, the board said it has been “managing the incident since it first came to our attention on July 10.”

“We have confirmed that data was stolen and we are working to determine the exact content of that data,” the board’s email to staff said in part.

The board said it will provide staff with one year of complimentary credit monitoring – a service that notifies people about unusual banking activities.

The school board also said it’s retained expert advisors as they work to restore services.

“We want to assure you that this is an isolated occurrence and we will remedy the situation,” the board wrote to staff.

In a separate email sent to students and their families on Wednesday, the board said it “has now confirmed that an unauthorized person accessed and removed certain data from our systems.”

It continued, in part, saying it believes the risk to students’ sensitive information is low.

QUESTIONS REMAIN

In its statement to CTV News, the board said it has shared information on the incidents with staff, students and their families and will continue to communicate directly with those impacted.

“This is serious and concerning, and unfortunately, cyber incidents are occurring more frequently in the education sector,” Brandenstien said.

The board did not respond to any of CTV’s questions about which services have been impacted as a result of the "cyber incidents."

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