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'I'd like some answers': B.C. woman's personal information leaked in cyberattack

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A Metro Vancouver woman said she’s looking for answers weeks after a cyberattack where some of her personal health information was breached.

The First Nations Health Authority was the target of a cyberattack last month. Jacqualene Worrall has been worried and frustrated since finding out through CTV News that her information was compromised.

“I was totally shocked,” she said. “I feel it’s a violation of my privacy.”

CTV News confirmed employee and patient information – including client access to mental health resources and feedback about a medical imaging experience – were uploaded to the so-called dark web.

Despite several phone calls inquiring about how this happened and why she was not informed by the FNHA, Worrall said she’s received little information from the health authority.

“They should be contacting me,” she said. “They should have contacted everyone affected by this.”

On May 13, the health authority said it became aware of unusual activity on its corporate network, adding that it had uncovered evidence that employee information and limited personal information was impacted.

"We took immediate action to investigate this activity and intercepted an unauthorized entity who had gained access to our corporate network. We immediately deployed countermeasures to block the unauthorized entity's access and prevent any further unauthorized activity," a spokesperson wrote on May 22. 

On Tuesday, Health Minister Adrian Dix said FNHA took action to protect all patients.

“They’ve taken this very seriously,” Dix said. “It’s obviously devastating when this occurs to any organization.”

In a statement to CTV News, the health authority said it understands these situations can create stress and concern, which is why it needs to proceed with the utmost caution, ensuring that it completes a comprehensive investigation.

“As our cybersecurity experts confirm that certain information has been accessed, we will notify any impacted individuals as appropriate, but we need to be sure that we are giving communities and individuals a full and accurate understanding of the impacts when we do so,” the statement continued.

The health authority added that although it has experts working around the clock, it anticipates it could take some time to complete a fulsome analysis.

Worrall said the experience has tainted her trust in the health-care system, and that she’d like to know what the health authority is going to do to prevent something like this from happening again.

“I’d like some answers, and everyone to be notified of what steps they are taking, what information of mine has been leaked out," she said. “I feel like I’m by myself with nowhere to turn and no answers. I don’t know what to do next.”

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