'We don’t know what happened': Cyber security expert says WRDSB needs to be more transparent over data hack
A cyber security expert from the University of Waterloo says more transparency is needed after the data breach at the Waterloo Region District School Board.
"That part concerns me a little bit, the fact they haven't released very many details about what’s going on,” said David Jao, professor of cyber security at the University of Waterloo
Jao has been with the Waterloo Cyber Security And Privacy Institute since 2006 and said lack of transparency leads to uncertainty in the community.
“There is this huge range of possible speculation that isn't making anyone’s lives easier because we don’t know what happened,” said Jao.
The school board has stated when it comes to staff information, attackers accessed a restricted drive that contained sensitive personal information related to payroll including banking information and social insurance numbers dating back to 1970.
"I don't know exactly what was taken, but even a social insurance number is quite concerning,” said Jao.
Of the information that has been released, Jao said he would like to know more. The board has said it’s been assured “any data taken as part of the cyber intrusion has been deleted.”
“How would you know that? First off, that implies the board is talking to whoever this is, that they know who they are, in some sense to be able to talk to them,” said Jao.
When it comes to student data, the board has said it still is not sure what information was taken.
The board said the analysis is not complete and add this is labour-intensive work that takes weeks.
The board decline an on-camera interview to discuss this topic.
"I think you should tell people what is going on, that’s a very straightforward ask. Let’s say you are disclosing what happened to student information because you don't know, if you just say you don't, it will let us know where you stand, and that would be a very helpful thing,” said Jao.
For those associated with the school board, and anyone who may be concerned about their online security, Jao said hacks like these are simply a part of life.
“You should live your life and act as if bad guys are going to get their hands on information like this,” said Jao.
CTV News asked the school board who is investigating the data breach, and the board said the OPP. According to the OPP cyber investigations unit, they are not involved in this matter.https://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/wrdsb-confirms-student-information-was-accessed-during-cyber-incident-1.6026117