Ontario hospitals say data has been published following ransomware attack

A woman types on a laptop in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Jenny Kane

Five Ontario hospitals affected by a recent ransomware attack, along with their shared IT provider, say data in connection to the cyber attack has been published.

The attack caused an outage of some online services at Bluewater Health, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Erie Shores HealthCare, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and Windsor Regional Hospital on Oct. 23.

In a joint statement, the hospitals and TransForm, a non-profit group tasked with overseeing the hospitals’ IT systems, say they are investigating to determine exactly what data has been released.

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The group says the ransomware attack affected operations as well as certain patient, employee and professional staff data – noting any individuals whose data was affected will be promptly notified.

It also says that it decided, after advice from experts, that it would not yield to ransom demands.

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The group says it will continue working closely with law enforcement including local police departments, Ontario Provincial Police, Interpol and the FBI, and it has notified all relevant regulatory organizations including the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner.

It says the hospital organizations are working to restore systems and will contact patients directly to reschedule appointments if necessary.

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