Hackers gain access to SLGA information

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) is dealing with a hack that caused an information breach shortly after Christmas.

SLGA has hired lawyers to negotiate with hackers who stole the personal data of employees, franchisees and vendors but the province is refusing to pay a ransom.

Jim Reiter, minister in charge of SLGA, said an Ontario firm specializing in hacks has been brought in to help coordinate the response.

“I don’t want to be in a position where we’re paying tax dollars for ransom to criminals,” Reiter said. “What message does that send to the next hack?”

The government reported employee data was stolen but now says it also involved sensitive information belonging to liquor vendors and franchisees. No customer information was breached, according to the government.

“This isn’t a whistleblower, this is a criminal. This is part of a group that stole private information and is trying to get a ransom out of it,” Reiter said.

Reiter said they’re not aware of what the hackers are going to do next and don’t know what information they have. He said they want to do as much disclosure as they can which is relied on by the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner’s office.

NDP MLA Nicole Sarauer said the lack of accountability by the government is not reassuring.

“Three months later is when folks finally realized what happened, many affected only learning that their information was breached after the hackers alerted the media,” said Sarauer.

The government said it was no secret.

“On Dec. 28, a news release by the government was released. Nothing was hidden,” Reiter said during Question Period on Monday.

This latest computer hack follows a serious data breach two years ago of patient health information at eHealth in 2019.

Saurauer said this is a pattern with the government that can’t handle cyber security.

“Be accountable, explain what is going to happen moving forward to ensure that this never happens again,” Sarauer said.

The government has tried to improve its computer security, but problems persist as plans call for large crown corporations to share their knowledge…