The Nation Municipality’s website posted a recent warning notifying residents that the municipality was the target of hackers on June 30.
The municipality’s computer network was infiltrated and infected with ransomware. The illegal software sabotaged the network with an encryption program, blocking access to some parts of the system, including the municipal email, and making them unusable. Staff could not receive or send emails so any resident trying to get information on a concern had to phone or go to the municipal office instead.
The hackers demanded a bitcoin ransom of between $7000 and $10,000 to restore access to the municipal network. The municipality refused to pay and set up a cyber-cleaning of its network.
All services, except the email system, have been restored as of press time. The municipal email should be available again before the end of the week. The email system requires individual checks and confirmations of accounts which is why it will take longer for cyber cleaning. There are no concerns that any of the information in the municipal network is compromised.
The municipality has reported the cyber attack to the OPP and also to the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner’s office.