BMO, Simplii Attack: Customers Are Informed Of A Possible Security Breach

CIBC and BMO are investigating a hack on Simplii Financial that may leak customer data

Key Actors:

  • Simplii Financial: a subsidiary bank of the CIBC had more than 40,000 banking customers’ personal information stolen
  • BMO (Bank of Montreal): The fourth-largest multinational bank in Canada also reported to have 50,000 clients’ personal data stolen


Last Monday, fraudsters claimed to have hacked into two of Canada’s major banks, CIBC and BMO, threatening to release thousands of  users’ personal information onto the black market. The hackers are demanding a million dollar ransom for the data of the 40,000 people affected from CIBC and the 50,000 from BMO.

Even though there is no clear evidence for their claims of the hack, CIBC and BMO are both giving the threat serious consideration..

“We are taking this claim seriously and have taken action to further enhance our monitoring and security procedures” Michael Martin, Senior Vice President, Simplii Financial.

Fortunately for clients, CIBC and BMO promised to reimburse any stolen money. However, that may not be enough to remedy the situation. Many clients are still shocked that their personal data are in the hands of a fraudster. In fact, their personal data can be used to make fraudulent transactions, open bank accounts in their names, and many more actions that can negatively impact their credit scores and lives for potentially the rest of their lives.

Both CIBC and BMO did not reveal how security breach happened but there is a speculation that the attack came from outside the country.

Why is Cybersecurity Relevant?

Cybersecurity has been a growing issue as money and information are digitized. Making sensitive banking services more convenient can result in vulnerability in the case of a security breach. Furthermore, more information is likely to be compromised if a hack is successful. Corporate businesses, especially financial institutions have to be constantly aware of the potential security threats; they have to be ahead of the curve in terms of new technology, security trends, and threat intelligence. Cybersecurity has become a necessity to protect the personal information and money of clients from cyber threats, which can take many different forms.


  • 70% of Canadians bank primarily online
  • In 2017, there was a worldwide spending of  $83.4 billion on cybersecurity. A increase of 7% from 2016
  • Around 90,000 clients affected


Evans, Pete. “Fraudsters Hit BMO and CIBC’s Simplii Bank, Stealing Customer Data, Demanding $1M Ransom | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 29 May 2018,

Pittis, Don. “Bank Breaches Highlight Why Cybersecurity Cannot Be a Patchwork Job: Don Pittis | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 30 May 2018,

Braga, Matthew. “So Your Financial Information Is Being Bought and Sold on the Internet. Now What? | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 30 May 2018,

“What Is Cybersecurity? – Definition from” SearchSecurity, TechTarget,

“What Is Threat Intelligence (Cyber Threat Intelligence)? – Definition from”,

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