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Council receives report on ransomware incident

In total, the town paid $34,950 to retrieve the municipality’s data. An additional $37,181 was paid to consultants
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WASAGA BEACH – A report on the costs of the ransomware attack and related expenses was received by town council on Tuesday night.

Prepared by treasurer Jocelyn Lee, the report notes that on April 30, 2018 a ransomware virus compromised the municipality’s computer system.

“This was done by cyber criminals who demanded a ransom be paid to unlock the data back to the town,” Lee said in her report to council.

For roughly seven weeks, town staff worked with computer experts to recover from the virus by rebuilding a new network, negotiating with the cyber criminals to obtain the data back, scrubbing the data to ensure it was clean before returning it to the new network, reconfiguring many software programs to work under the new network design, and installing a new hardware and software infrastructure deemed necessary for corporate security.

Lee said three consulting firms were hired to help with the situation. She noted a second report is being prepared by Hexigent Consultants that will address technical details, including how the ransomware attack happened. The report is slated for presentation to council’s Coordinated Committee on Aug. 16, 2018.

In total, the town paid $34,950 to retrieve the municipality’s data. An additional $37,181 was paid to consultants.

To read the full report click here.

The town reminds the community that it believes no personal data was compromised during the ransomware attack. The opinion of experts is the incident was strictly about extracting a payment from the municipality. Should this view change the town will advise the community.