A potential security breach has been discovered and may have compromised Ontatio’s COVID-19 vaccine booking portal. Multiple reports of individuals who have used the portal have come forward and said they have received spam text messages.
Marion Ringuette, director of communications for the Solicitor General has confirmed the reports and responded with a public statement. Ringuette urges those who have received spam texts to disregard them as the Ontario government would not reach out via text in this manner.
“Ontarians should be aware these texts are financial in nature and that the government will never conduct a financial transaction through these methods,” said Marion Ringuette said in a statement.
Ringuette has also confirmed that the Solicitor General is working alongside partner ministries and the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate the reports and identify the severity of the security breach.
Over the weekend, Ontario Premier Doug Ford stated that he was briefed about the investigation. “I’ve had a conversation with my chief of staff, principal secretary and secretary of cabinet and they have all hands on deck on all our ministry especially or Ministry of Health, and I’m confident with the group that we have down there,” Ford said earlier today, according to CP24.
The Ontario COVID-19 vaccine portal was built to streamline the ways residents can book their vaccine appointments and access vaccine certificates following the immunization process. This potential breach comes only days after Ontario announces children between the ages of five and 11 can be vaccinated.
Solicitor General Sylvia Jones was asked to comment on the matter. “This investigation, and any investigation when we hear of potential breaches, we investigate thoroughly,” Jones stated.
Based on current reports, it doesn’t appear as though it is a massive breach, meaning anyone booking through the portal will be a target to spam. However, those who wish to be cautious should remain so and see how the situation escalates throughout the week.
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