Former 407 ETR employee charged for 2018 internal data theft

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Woodbridge (July 28, 2020) – The York Regional Police arrested a former 407 ETR employee, Varun (Bobby) Saini, on July 23 for internal data theft that allegedly occurred in 2018. He is accused of unlawfully obtaining the personal information of 60,000 407 ETR customers through the data breach. The company that manages Highway 407 said that only names, addresses, and phone numbers were affected. No financial, credit card, payment, account, trip history, or other information was impacted. The York police charged the Toronto man with Mischief of Data and Unauthorized Use of a Computer.

The York Regional Police charged Varun (Bobby) Saini, a former employee of 407 ETR, in connection with the 2018 internal data theft, according to a press release issued on July 23. As a result of the incident, the information of thousands of 407 ETR customers was stolen.

The 407 ETR internal data theft

In May 2018, the 407 ETR was informed about an internal theft of customer data. A few days later, the company, who manages Highway 407, advised its customers that the names, addresses, and phone numbers of about 60,000 clients were accessed by an employee without authorization. In response to the incident, 407 ETR said they immediately launched an investigation with the support of external security experts. They have also notified the appropriate authorities, including local police, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO).

The two-year investigation of the York Regional Police Financial Crimes Unit revealed that ‘an employee had used a company computer to access and compile’ the personal information of the victims. The police said that the personal information of people who use Highway 407 from so-called ‘specific geographic regions’ were affected.

The company clarified that there was no indication of an external breach of systems and no financial, credit card, payment, account, trip history, or other information was impacted by the internal data theft incident. The police did not further disclose how the suspect was able to steal the data or what kind of position he held with 407 ETR.

Former employee arrested

On July 23 of this year, the York police arrested the 37-year-old Saini in connection with the alleged theft of 407 ETR information. The Toronto man has been charged with Mischief to Data and Unauthorized Use of a Computer.

He has been released and is scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket on November 5. The police asked anyone with information to contact their Financial Crimes Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6612.

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