Inquiry

Regarding the incident.

At 1st Choice Savings and Credit Union, we take privacy and security very seriously. To that end, we want to make our members aware that Celero Solutions Inc. (Celero), a managed services provider that supports 1st Choice with a range of information technology and related services, recently experienced a cybersecurity incident.
 
We’ve completed an investigation; our systems are fully secure, and we have been advised that there is no indication of ongoing cyber activity. However, as a precaution, we wanted to let you know that some personal information may have been accessed during the incident.
 
Please be assured that there is no evidence of misuse of information due to the incident at this time.

General Notification Regarding The Incident.

As your trusted financial partner, 1st Choice Savings and Credit Union (1st Choice) takes the privacy and security of its members seriously.

To this end, we are writing to inform you of a recent cybersecurity incident experienced by Celero Solutions Inc. (Celero), a managed services provider that provides a range of information technology and related services to 1st Choice.

What Happened

On June 8, 2022, Celero notified 1st Choice that they had experienced a cybersecurity incident. At the time, Celero informed 1st Choice that they did not believe that our systems and data had been impacted. As soon as the incident was detected, Celero notified us that they took immediate action to block the incident, limit the impact on their clients, and began conducting an investigation to assess what information may have been compromised. 

On June 15, 2022, Celero informed 1st Choice that the investigation had revealed that unknown individuals may have gained unauthorized access to some information. Subsequently, Celero confirmed that information was accessed on June 8, 2022. Out of an abundance of caution, we immediately initiated our standard incident response process and implemented strengthened security measures to protect your information. We also engaged leading cybersecurity experts to support the investigation and our response.

What Information Was Involved

 

As a precautionary measure, we want to make you aware that some of your personal information may have been accessed during the incident. Based on Celero’s investigation and 1st Choice’s internal review, this may include name, banking information, date of birth, and SIN. Please note that the impacted information categories may vary from member to member.

 

What We Are Doing

 

While there is no evidence at this time that any personal information has been misused or distributed as a result of this incident, we wanted to notify you of this incident and provide you with complimentary identity theft and credit monitoring solutions from TransUnion free of charge for 24 months. Through this, you will be able to receive regular alerts to notify you if there are significant changes to your credit report.

 

To receive a unique activation code for TransUnion myTrueIdentity solution please contact us at (403) 320-4600 or by email at info@1stchoicesavings.ca.

 

To activate your subscription, visit https://www.mytrueidentity.ca and enter your unique activation code before November 30, 2022.

 

In order to protect against fraudulent access to credit report information, you will be subject to a verification and authentication process.

 

What You Can Do

 

There are additional steps we recommend you take to protect yourself and your information online:

  • Monitor your financial accounts with care. If you see any transactions you do not understand or that appear suspicious, or if you suspect fraudulent activity has occurred involving a credit or debit card, contact your financial institution.
  • Regularly change and create strong passwords for any online accounts, in particular those that use or relate to your social insurance number.
  • Be cautious of any unsolicited communication (phone call, email, etc.) that asks for your personal information or refers you to a Web page asking for personal information.
  • Do not click on links, provide money, or confidential information where you cannot independently verify the authenticity of a request.
  • Clear your browsing history regularly and at the conclusion of any online banking or other transactions where you make online purchases.
  • Sign up for banking alerts that will notify you when your password has been changed or your banking account has been accessed/used.
  • Contact the appropriate authorities if you notice any suspicious activity.
  • Sign up for the credit monitoring services being offered further above.

 

Additional tips and resources for protecting your identity are available at:

https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/privacy-topics/identities/identity-theft/guide_idt/.

 

For More Information

 

We know you may have more questions, and we are here to support you. Please refer to our dedicated website landing page for additional information and resources at www.1stchoicesavings.ca/inquiry or contact us at (403) 320-4600 or by email at info@1stchoicesavings.ca.

 

We are committed to providing exceptional service with everything we do guided by 1st Choice’s philosophy of putting members 1st.

 

We deeply regret the impact that this incident may have caused to our members. 1st Choice takes the privacy and protection of your information extremely seriously, and we continue to support the wellbeing of people, businesses, and communities across Southern Alberta.

 

Thank you for your trust and support.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Jason Sentes

Chief Executive Officer

1st Choice Savings and Credit Union

FAQ relating to the incident.

On June 8, 2022, Celero notified 1st Choice that they had experienced a cybersecurity incident. At the time, Celero informed 1st Choice that they did not believe that our systems and data had been impacted. As soon as the incident was detected, Celero notified us that they took immediate action to block the incident, limit the impact on their clients, and began conducting an investigation to assess what information may have been compromised. 

 

On June 15, 2022, Celero informed 1st Choice that the investigation had revealed that unknown individuals may have gained unauthorized access to some information. Subsequently, Celero confirmed that information was accessed on June 8, 2022. Out of an abundance of caution, we immediately initiated our standard incident response process and implemented strengthened security measures to protect your information. We also engaged leading cybersecurity experts to support the investigation and our response.

Based on Celero’s investigation and 1st Choice’s internal review, the following personal information may have been accessed during the incident including, banking information, date of birth, and SIN. Please note that the impacted information categories may vary from member to member.

Celero Solutions Inc., is a managed services provider that provides a range of technology services to 1st Choice and other credit unions.

It was a cybersecurity incident.

Celero engaged an independent cyber security agency who has confirmed that there is no indication of ongoing malicious activity identified within Celero’s environment.

1st Choice’s operations were not impacted at all, and we continue to remain fully operational.

There was a cybersecurity incident but the banking system was not impacted.

Out of an abundance of caution, we initiated our standard incident response process and implemented strengthened security measures to protect your information. We also engaged leading cybersecurity experts to support the investigation and our response.

 

With these incidents increasingly common throughout all industries, 1st Choice continually invests in and maintains robust safeguards to protect stakeholder information. This includes:

 

  • Using MFA authentication on systems
  • Following Information Security best practices 
  • Using threat detection platforms and systems to detect and monitor for malicious and suspicious activity
  • Formal information security training for all employees 

 

We have brought on world class cyber experts to support the investigation and response.

The relevant authorities have been notified including law enforcement, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta.

These investigations are very complex and take time to conduct in a way that is both rigorous and protects the interests of our members and employees. 1st Choice made sure that its systems were secure to limit the risk of further security incidents and took action to notify you. We continue to take appropriate actions to safeguard your information.

Celero is a managed services provider, contracted by 1st Choice and other credit unions, to provide a range of technology processes and functions. This includes data management and file storage.

1st Choice directly contacted individuals with sensitive information affected where we had contact information.

 

There were a few individuals for whom we did not have contact information. To find out whether or not your personal information was affected please contact us at (403) 320-4600 or by email at info@1stchoicesavings.ca

At this point, we have no evidence to suggest that personal information was misused.

If you ever believe you have been the victim of identity theft or have reason to believe your information is being misused, we urge you to:

 

  • immediately contact 1st Choice to notify us about your concern; and
  • contact the police and file a police report.

To help protect affected individuals from the risk of fraud and identity theft, 1st Choice has offered affected individuals access to TransUnion’s credit monitoring service free of charge for 2 years. This credit monitoring service gives you daily access to your credit report for and alerts you to key changes to your file. It also comes with identity theft insurance.

TransUnion's myTrueIdentity platform allows you to access their credit information and offers specific features to help safeguard your identity. A credit monitoring service acts as both a personal assistant and watchdog when it comes to your credit. TransUnion's credit report monitoring service gives you unlimited online access to your credit report and regular alerts to notify you if there are significant changes to your credit report. You’ll also have access to educational resources focused on credit management, fraud victim assistance and identity theft prevention, identity theft insurance coverage of up to $50,000 to protect against potential damages and Dark Web monitoring.

Online Banking Alerts, allows you to receive notifications regarding your accounts through email, text message (SMS), or both. You can stay up to date on what’s happening in your accounts without even having to log in online. You can receive alerts when:

 

  • Someone logs into your account
  • Your account is locked from too many login attempts
  • Your PAC is changed
  • A new payee or recipient is added
  • A deposit or withdrawal exceeds a certain amount

 

Members have a choice of which alerts you wish to receive and how you would like to receive them by logging into Online Banking and clicking on Messages and Alerts.

 

We encourage you to frequently review your statements. Check your accounts and credit cards on a regular basis to ensure all transactions are legitimate. Do not divulge any personal information over the phone, through email or text message if you don’t recognize who is requesting it. 1st Choice will never call you or send you an electronic message to verify any of your personal or cardholder information. If you notice suspicious or unusual transactions report it immediately.

 

All members, as a common and good practice, should remember to regularly change passwords for their online banking and always remain vigilant in monitoring for any suspicious transactions or activity on their accounts.

To find out more information, contact us at (403) 320-4600 or by email at info@1stchoicesavings.ca

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