Threat Management

Canadian town bows to ransomware attack, will pay attackers

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The small Canadian town of Midland, Ontario plans to pay off the malicious actors who shut down the municipalities compute system with a ransomware attack on Sept. 1.

The town is now negotiating with the attackers, according to a CTV News story, but Midland’s leaders have not released the ransom amount being discussed. The nearby town of Wasaga Beach, Ontario was also recently victimized with a similar attack with a ransom or $144,000, which was bargained down to $35,000, CTV said.

Midland, a town of about 16,000 located on the shores of Lake Huron, said in a report on the incident the cyberattack hit at 2 am on Sept. 1 and quickly took down several municipal systems. Town workers were able to partially limit the damage by separating some vital services, such as water and sewage, from the main network. The local fire and rescue departments operate on a different network.

A forensic team has been hired to investigate the attack, but at this time it is not known how the ransomware entered the town’s network. Officials do not believe any personal information was compromised

Some services have been restored, and the town recently purchased cyber insurance which it believes will help cushion the attack’s financial blow.

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