A hacker has hit a Canadian town with a malicious cyberattack. In an unusual move, the town has opted to pay the cybercriminals to get the systems running again.
Midland, a town located in the Ontario Province, had its entire computer network attacked. The hack infected malware into files at the beginning of this month. As a result, the town’s computing system was shut down for 48 hours. This disabled all email services, transactions, and the issuing of permits. It also halted processing of documents such as transit cards and marriage applications.
The criminal ordered that a ransom was paid in Bitcoin in order to restore computing functions. The town has responded to the demands and has initiated the payment of the unspecified amount of cryptocurrency.
The Midland News Room, the Canadian town news outlet, reported on the matter. The announcement states that the town has been working closely with cyber security teams in order to resume all computing operations as quickly as possible. The report also explained that the town would meet the ransom demand:
“Under the guidance of cyber security experts, we have initiated the process to pay the ransom in exchange for the decryption keys. Although not ideal, it is in our best interest to bring the system back online as quickly as possible. The Town had previously secured an insurance policy to cover such circumstances. Decryption efforts are underway.
The Town of Midland understands that residents and businesses are concerned about the potential for privacy breaches with respect to information held by the Town. We understand and appreciate the concern, but ongoing investigations have not found any evidence that suggests information was inappropriately accessed or removed from our systems.”
It was further explained that vital services such as waste and water management and fire and rescue operations were not impacted, as measures were put in place to separate the systems from the town’s main IT system.