Cybersecurity monitoring of Alberta government digital systems detected suspicious activities which, when investigated by cybersecurity officials, revealed that 155 individual accounts had been compromised. Alberta government services were not compromised.

These accounts, used by Albertans to access government services, were immediately suspended. Upon further analysis, it was determined the majority of these had submitted fraudulent student aid claims. These claims were frozen and are being investigated.

Users whose accounts have been suspended are being notified by officials via email and regular mail and will be advised on how to re-establish their verified accounts.

“Albertans can be confident that our cybersecurity measures are protecting access to government services. We are working with individual account owners, other government ministries and law enforcement to address this incident. As a result of our due diligence, we were able to identify this breach, intervene and take action. While Alberta’s government uses leading-edge technology to maintain the integrity of our online systems, this is a timely reminder to always take steps to protect yourself and secure your online accounts as they are a critical part of maintaining online services.”

Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation

“I want to reassure all learners who use our student aid system that we take your security and privacy seriously. This breach was detected early, limiting its impact and maintaining the integrity of our systems. As we investigate the incident, I encourage all Student Aid Alberta users to ensure their accounts are secured with strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

Scammers are becoming more sophisticated every day and can make their attempts to get your personal information look legitimate. Alberta’s government has several online resources to help identify potential cyber threats as well as information on how to protect your personal data online. This includes:

  • Using a complex password that is unique to your account and not sharing it with anyone.
  • Avoiding reusing the same password for other accounts, including online banking and your email account.
  • Enabling multi-factor authentication on the email address associated with your verified account. This will help secure your email account and help prevent an attacker from using it to change the password to your verified account.
  • Keeping your devices and your security software up to date.

To help identify, protect against and address potential threats, Alberta’s government leverages tools such as multi-factor authentication, encryption, artificial intelligence, fraud detection and automation technologies to protect online systems.

Quick facts

  • Of the 155 accounts that were compromised, 109 were identified as having Student Aid Alberta claims. All 109 claims have been suspended.
  • Since Alberta launched verified accounts, more than two million accounts have been created with more than one million actively in use.
  • Alberta’s government will never call or text you asking for your password or other login information.