Montreal's Grande Bibliothèque Has Shut Down Some Services After A Data Breach

The library's online reservations are limited.

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
A Quebec flag flies in front of the entrance to the BAnQ Grande Bibliothèque.

A Quebec flag flies in front of the entrance to the BAnQ Grande Bibliothèque.

Montreal's Grande Bibliothèque has shut down some online services after a widespread data breach. While no personal information appears to have been compromised, the library has temporarily shut down its wifi and stopped reservation of external digital resources, interlibrary loans and book downloads. All of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) buildings will stay open while an investigation is underway.

"A detailed analysis of our computer system is underway, and we are in contact with the Government Cyber Defense Center," the BAnQ wrote in a statement.

The services that remain unavailable are:

  • BAnQ wireless network
  • Reservation and access to external digital resources, including and OverDrive (The rest of the site, including the catalog, is available, although favourites are disabled)
  • Quebec Document Processing Service (SQTD) and Pistard
  • Interlibrary loan
  • BAnQ Numérique's external digital resources
  • Legal Deposit
  • Book download from the Service québécois du livre adapted (SQLA), although the catalog remains accessible

While the BAnQ's public wireless network is down, users can log in to the MTLWiFi network.

Reservations are possible by contacting the library's information desk. Similarly, to confirm the availability of a book, you should contact the research assistance counter.

The Grande Bibliothèque said it's unsure when disrupted services will become available again.

This latest service disruption follows another in May 2021, when the library shut down many online services.

Quebec childcare reservation site, La Place 0-5, was targeted and the personal data of thousands of users was stolen. Website host InMédia Technologies closed some of its servers in response, which impacted other sites that shared the same server, including the BAnQ, which were vulnerable to getting hacked.

Sofia Misenheimer
MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Sofia Misenheimer is an award-winning writer, editor and former radio journalist with a passion for finding hidden gems in the city.
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