Ontario government worker one of two charged in vaccine portal breach

Ayoub Sayid is an employee of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services — Vaccine Contact Centre

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Two men including a provincial government employee have been charged in relation to a hacking of Ontario’s vaccine booking system, OPP say.

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The Ontario government contacted provincial police after complaints surfaced that people who had recently accessed the province’s vaccine portal — to book an appointment or download a QR code vaccine certificate — received spam messages.

While the topic of the messages was financial in nature, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said no one was defrauded of any funds.

“On Nov. 22, 2021, OPP members executed search warrants — one in Quebec with the support of Surete du Quebec and the second in Ottawa. Several devices, computers and laptops were seized,” the OPP said in a statement Tuesday.

Ayoub Sayid, 21, of Gloucester, Ont., an employee of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services — Vaccine Contact Centre, and Rahim Abdu, 22, of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., are charged with unauthorized use of a computer.

The accused were arrested and then released from custody with a court date.

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“The public should always be suspicious of any text messages requesting financial or private information,” the OPP said. “If you suspect fraudulent activity, please report to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre  through its website at antifraudcentre.ca or by telephone at 1-888-495-8501.

“If an individual has been a victim of a scam, fraud or cybercrime, they should contact their local police as soon as possible.”



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