Data for 3.4 million customers of Bell Canada in Quebec and Ontario that was stolen last month has been recovered and a suspect in the theft has been arrested, the Canadian telecom giant said this week.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Bell Canada said that the stolen data included unlisted telephone numbers as well as names and addresses of customers, but did not include sensitive information such as credit-card numbers, personal identification numbers or telephone billing records.
Bell Canada alerted Montreal police last month that a theft had taken place. According to the company, Bell security officers accompanied the police on a search of two locations in Montreal this week, where the stolen data was located and recovered. A suspect was later arrested, and charges are pending.
Bell said it is contacting affected customers whose unpublished telephone numbers – which the company said amounted to only about five percent of the purloined records – were included in the stolen data.
According to reports, police located the suspect in the data theft after receiving a tip from someone who said the suspect was attempting to sell the stolen data. Bell Canada, Canada's largest communications company, said in its statement that it is still trying to determine how the stolen data was acquired by the suspect.