October 19th, 2017

Poor security controls led to camera breach at Nova Scotia school: report


By The Canadian Press on October 12, 2017.

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s information and privacy commissioner says inadequate passwords and insufficient technical controls led to video surveillance images of Cape Breton schoolchildren being live streamed on the internet.

A report released today by Catherine Tully says the breach of the video system at the Rankin School of the Narrows in Iona, N.S., occurred when a link to the live feed from one school camera was picked up and distributed by a Russian website that specializes in linking non-secured video surveillance cameras.

Tully says an unsecured technical vulnerability enabled viewers to access the school’s other two cameras as well.

The report says the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board changed the passwords on all its video surveillance cameras once it learned of the privacy breach, however Tully found the board still hasn’t implemented adequate technical or administrative controls to reduce the risk of future privacy breaches.

Tully recommends several changes to the board’s technical security practices to strengthen controls on its protection of personal information.

They include the development of a privacy breach policy, the securing of cameras behind a firewall, the replacement of two exterior cameras and the immediate disabling of a video surveillance camera outside the boys’ washroom at the Rankin school.

The school board has 30 days to respond to the commissioner’s recommendations.

Tully began her investigation in May after it was revealed that detailed images of students, age five to 18, were appearing on the website.


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