Toronto Zoo
Cyber Incident

View our statements regarding the ransomware/cyber incident

Asked Questions

  • What happened in the recent ransomware/cyber incident?
  • Even though it is early in the investigation, at this point we believe that current, former, and retired Toronto Zoo employees (dating back to 1989) have had some personal information stolen. As a proactive step, the Toronto Zoo will be offering all current, former and retired Zoo staff dating back to 1989 with a complimentary two-year credit monitoring service - a service that allows one to check for signs of identity fraud so protective action can be taken. If you are a former Zoo staff please read our recent statement for more details on next steps.

  • What should I do to protect myself?
  • Enrolling in the credit monitoring service is the best means of protecting yourself. You can set it to proactively alert you if anyone is opening a credit account in your name. It is also always a good practice to review your monthly account statement for any signs of suspicious activity.

  • What steps should staff who are 16 & 17 take since they will not have access to this service? Do they need to take any steps at all since they are underage?
  • Employees who turn 18 after July 17, 2024 may contact us within six months of turning 18 to access the credit monitoring service. Like all of us, we should always be alert to signs of identity misuse – e.g. calls about accounts we have not opened or other similar signs of a problem.

  • Should I replace my bank account number? Drivers license number? 
  • Enrolling in the credit monitoring service is the best means of protecting yourself. We are not recommending that employees and former employees attempt to change their bank account numbers or their drivers license numbers.

  • Have you lost my...? What about this information?
  • We have notified employees based on an understanding that the earnings information, social insurance numbers, birthdates, telephone numbers and home addresses of most employees was likely exposed. Other information may also have been exposed, though we are not able to say without conducting analysis that will take some time, possibly months. This is one reason why we have provided credit monitoring now, and we encourage all employees to enrol.

  • Why do you still have information from so long ago?
  • There are legal reasons to retain employee records. We are currently re-evaluating our retention practices based on a project that we launched prior to this incident.

  • Should I replace my SIN number?
  • That’s not possible unless you have been defrauded. We suggest you enroll in the credit monitoring service to protect yourself.

  • Should I place a fraud alert on my credit file?
  • That’s your choice. A fraud alert is a statement you can add to your credit report that warns potential lenders that you may be a victim of identity theft. They are protective because they may cause lenders to take extra steps to verify identity. Given they can also cause transaction delays, we are leaving that choice to you. 

    Placing a fraud alert on your TransUnion file is free to those who enroll in the monitoring service. You can also contact Equifax and put an alert on your Equifax file for free.

  • Am I at risk of title fraud?
  • Title fraud can be enabled by identity theft but is a crime that typically involves using fake or forged identity documents to steal title to a home. It is an elaborate crime and more difficult to commit than opening accounts with stolen information. 

  • Will you provide title insurance?
  • Many of you may have title insurance already, and it doesn’t provide proactive protection from fraud. We also do not believe employee identity documents have been exposed.

  • Why are you not providing TransUnion and Equifax services?
  • The services are largely redundant. 

  • Why are you only proving two years of credit monitoring service?
  • We believe two years gives good protection, and it is aligned with common practice in these situations.

  • Will the zoo compensate me for the data leakage?
  • The Zoo is providing credit monitoring protection and not compensation. However, if you have an identity theft problem that you believe to be linked to this incident, please let us know right away. There is insurance available to those who enroll in the credit monitoring service, which another reason why you should enroll.

  • Will enrolling in the credit monitoring service affect my credit score?
  • No, the credit monitoring service will not affect your credit score.

  • I used my work computer to do my personal banking. Should I contact my bank to notify them of the cyber incident?
  • No, but if you are concerned you can change your online banking password and, if it isn’t mandatory at your bank, enable multi-factor authentication for access to your bank account.

  • What does credit monitoring mean? What does it encompass? Is it the same as credit protection/insurance? What if our information is used, what happens with the credit monitoring? Do this company help us through the process or do they just tell us that or information has been used?
  • For more information on credit monitoring please visit:

  • Was any personal medical information impacted by this incident?
  • Medical information that the Zoo nurse may have is not stored electronically. The personal information that we believe has been stolen includes earnings information, social insurance numbers, birthdates, telephone numbers and home addresses.  

  • How were some Zoo volunteers impacted and not others?
  • A limited number of Zoo volunteers were impacted and may have had confidential personal information stolen. These individuals have been contacted directly by Zoo staff. Please note that Better Impact which is the software used exclusively for the volunteer program was not impacted as that information is stored on the cloud.