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UPDATE – July 10th, 2019 at 11:30 a.m.

Please note that our emails have been restored. Our operations are now back to normal. We thank you for your patience!

PUBLIC STATEMENT – RANSOMWARE INCIDENT

July 4th, 2019 at 12:50 p.m.

On Sunday, June 30th, 2019, The Nation Municipality became the victim of a sophisticated cyber-attack in which the municipality’s network was illegally accessed and infected with ransomware. The malware was able to encrypt a number of the municipality’s systems rendering them unusable. The municipality subsequently received a ransom demand to decrypt the systems.

The Nation Municipality staff worked quickly to activate a cyber incident investigation and response. All necessary steps are being taken to restore access to systems and files, and to ensure operations return to normal as quickly as possible.

The incident has been reported to law enforcement and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

‘’The Nation Municipality is taking this incident very seriously and is working closely with Russell County Ontario Provincial Police and the OPP Cybercrime Investigation team to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.’’ – François St-Amour, Mayor of The Nation Municipality

The municipality will provide an update on the status of the situation at www.nationmun.ca when more information will be available. We appreciate your patience as we work quickly to resolve the issue.

Incident Questions & Answers

  1. What specific information has been compromised? Although we can confirm that information was encrypted by the malware, we haven’t found any evidence that suggests information was inappropriately accessed or removed from our systems. Experts are working diligently to rule out the possibility.
  2. What is ransomware? Ransomware is a form of malware which encrypts information, holding it hostage on our system until a ‘’ransom’’ is paid.
  3. Has the intruder been identified? No. Attackers go to great lengths to mask their identity and are typically extremely difficult to trace. The Nation Municipality has notified the proper authorities, and we are conducting a thorough forensic investigation.
  4. Have you reported the incident to law enforcement? Yes. The Nation Municipality immediately reported the incident to law enforcement and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
  5. Have you reported the incident to privacy regulators? Yes, The Nation Municipality has reported the incident to the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Ontario.
  6. Is resident and business information safe? At this time, ongoing investigations have not found any evidence that information was removed from the system or inappropriately accessed, and cyber security experts are working quickly to rule out the possibility
  7. What are the impacts on the municipality services and functions? At this time, Municipal Council and staff do not have access to their email accounts. Therefore, if you need to reach us, please contact us by phone at 613-764-5444. If you are looking for the extension of the person you are trying to reach, please take a look at the Contact Us section of our website. We are working to ensure that core functions that are vital to day-to-day business operations are up and running again as soon as possible.
  8. Has employee information been compromised? At this time, ongoing investigations have not found any evidence that information was removed from the system or inappropriately accessed, and cyber security experts are working quickly to rule out the possibility.
  9. How can you be sure that resident/business/employee financial information hasn’t been taken? At this time, ongoing investigations have not found any evidence that information was removed from the system or inappropriately accessed, and cyber security experts are working quickly to rule out the possibility. The Nation Municipality will offer additional updates as they become available.
  10. Am I or could I be a victim of identity theft? At this time, ongoing investigations have not found any evidence that information was removed from the system or inappropriately accessed, and cyber security experts are working quickly to rule out the possibility.
  11. What steps do I need to take to secure my information? There is nothing in the investigation that suggests personal data is at risk. If that changes we will notify residents immediately.
  12. Have you paid a ransom? No, the municipality has not paid a ransom. The municipality had the proper security in place and we are optimistic that we will be able to restore access to all systems within the coming days through our IT infrastructure.