City reports security breach of website

Potential risk of unauthorized access to residents' information

City reports security breach of website

The City of Abbotsford website may have been breached, according to a notice issued by the city.

On July 16, the city found that software used to run web services may have been accessed without authoritzation. The city then shut down all external access to online services in order to protect data.

The city hired an independent  security consultant who worked with business technology staff to assess the breach.

City staff and the consultant confirmed that though there was unauthoritzed access to the site, there is no evidence that any data was accessed.

“This is purely a precautionary measure to tell people that this happened… We don’t believe any information was actually accessed,” said city clerk Bill Flitton.

The data that was potentionally at risk includes information provided by residents who participate in the property tax pre-payment plan and pre-paying taxes through automatic withdrawal. That information would be the kind commonly found on personal cheques, such as name, address and the bank account number.

For customers who use MyCity Online services, account information, passwords and security questions were at risk.

Also at risk was property tax and utility billing data, property ownership, homeowner grants, dog licence information and bylaw information and complaints.

The city stated the data would not contain credit or debit card information, social insurance numbers or driver’s licence data.

Flitton said that residents who use MyCity Online services may wish to change their passwords and security questions.

The city doesn’t know who gained access to the site.

Flitton said the unauthorized access may have been prompted by companies seeking contact information in order to send “phishing emails.”

“We believe that’s what was happening here based on the type of information they were trying to access.”

The issue has been addressed and as of Tuesday online services were restored.

Flitton said though the breach will likely not impact people, the city issued the notice for transparency.

A similar incident occurred in Maple Ridge this month. On July 2, the District of Maple Ridge’s computer system was breached, but was not detected until July 21. The city believes the breach was done by third-party software installed onto the district’s server. The district has also notified users, but believes that no data was accessed during the breach. City staff have also recommended that users of the My Maple Ridge online services change their security questions and passwords.

The City of Abbotsford has sent emails and letters to the public informing them of the breach. For more information, email, call 604-851-4197 or visit the city’s website at

Just Posted

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

A program of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation enables patients to thank their health-care workers.
Fraser Valley program enables patients to say thanks to their health-care workers

Philip Harris Grateful Patient Program offered through health care foundation

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read