TTC continues to contend with cyberattack impacts

Nov. 11, 2021
TTC called the event a “sophisticated incident” that affected operator and customer-facing features.

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) experienced a cyberattack Oct. 29, 2021, where the culprits are believed to have gained access to approximately 25,000 past and present employees’ information.

Customer and internal services saw impacts from the attack and some operator and customer-facing features were disrupted, but have since been restored. TTC notes the transit network did not experience a service disruption during the “sophisticated incident.”

“Over the past week, we have been working day and night to resolve this situation – to get our lost services back online and to gain a clearer understanding as to the breadth of the incident,” said TTC CEO Rick Leary. “On behalf of the entire organization, I want to express my deep regret that this has occurred to everyone who may be impacted.”

The transit provider has been working with cybersecurity experts to investigate and restore its systems. TTC says there is evidence information including names, addresses and Social Insurance Numbers were accessed during the attack. Leary says there was not evidence (at the time of his statement) to indicate misuse of the information.

“While we do not have evidence that any of this information has been misused, we are taking steps to ensure those who may be impacted are protected from things like identity theft,” said Leary.

TTC has been notifying employees and individuals who may have been affected by the cybersecurity breach and is providing three years of credit protection through TransUnion.

The investigation will continue to determine if customer or vendor information was compromised. Leary reiterates the TTC’s commitment to learning from the incident.

“Over the coming weeks, we will continue rebuilding the remaining impacted servers and internal services, like re-establishing external e-mail capabilities. But in truth, and based on the experiences of other organizations, this could take some time,” said Leary.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.

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