Personal info of 15,000 people accessed from B.C. government site and databases

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VICTORIA - The B.C. government is trying to notify about 15,000 people whose personal information has been illegally accessed because of a data breach on a Ministry of Forests' website and associated databases.

The ministry says names, contact information, birth dates, drivers' licence numbers and job evaluation information of firefighters who applied to work on wildfire crews may have been compromised.

A ministry news release says data about applicants' aboriginal, minority or disabled status may have also been viewed when the information was accessed by an unauthorized user on Sept. 24.

The ministry says public website access was shut down as soon as the breach was discovered and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner was notified.

The government says it is offering free credit protection services to people who have been affected.

However, it says some of the database records are up to 10 years old and contacting everyone involved in a timely manner may be difficult.

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