The private company that assists members of the Canadian military and foreign service when they move across the country or around the world has been hacked, says a Department of National Defence note issued internally late Friday.

The breach involves the personal information of Canadian government employees held by Brookfield Global Relocation Services (BGRS), whose company website has been offline since September 29.

The internal message was released to CBC News after a number of military members reached out to express concern about how the absence of the online portal was affecting their moves.

The federal government has contacted the relocation company to find out what happened, but the internal note says the company “has now confirmed that unauthorized access was obtained to Government of Canada (GC) personnel information held by BGRS and as such we are providing notification of this incident.” 

The internal message warned members with open files to “take precautionary measures including updating login credentials.”

The internal message gave no indication of the size or scope of the breach.

It also told members to monitor “their financial and personal online accounts for any unusual activity.”

BGRS has been providing relocation services to the Canadian government since 1995. According to an online DND document, it administers 20,000 federal moves each year involving over 8,000 suppliers.

Some military members in the middle of moves said they’ve been asking for updates for weeks and reported rumours in the ranks that the site had been taken down in a cyberattack.

The internal note said the federal government is still assessing the impact and examining the BGRS investigation.

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