Banff RCMP lay computer hacking charges against former Banff Centre employee

Tomas Towne, a former employee of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, is facing computer hacking charges after reports that the post-secondary institution’s computer network and IT systems had been compromised by a suspected cyber attack.

Banff Centre began experiencing a disruption in its IT systems in late 2015. After initiating an investigation into the matter, it was suspected the hacks were the result of a third party.

Banff Centre hired professional services firm Deloitte to determine the source of the attack and the extent of the information that was accessed.

“Through this work, Banff Centre and Deloitte have concluded that there was no personal or financial information accessed during the attack and that it was suspected to be the actions of a former employee,” said Matt Matheson, director of marketing and communications for Banff Centre, in a statement. “This information was provided to the local RCMP and the criminal investigation has been led by the RCMP since that time.

“The privacy of participant, guest and staff information is of the utmost importance to Banff Centre and over the past few months we have been working with Deloitte’s team and have undergone extensive third party testing of Banff’s IT infrastructure to ensure its appropriate protection”

Towne, 50, is charged with mischief involving data and unauthorized use of a computer. He has been released on a promise to appear and is scheduled to make his first court appearance in Canmore Provincial Court on Jan. 4, 2017.


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