January 23, 2018 7:47 pm
Updated: January 24, 2018 9:17 pm

Metrolinx says it was target of North Korean cyberattack

WATCH ABOVE: Security experts say that while this attack may not have caused harm, the possibility of a disruptive attack on infrastructure and technology systems across the world might be all too real. Sean O'Shea reports.

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The Ontario transportation agency Metrolinx says it has been targeted in a cyberattack originating from North Korea.

Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins said personal information wasn’t compromised and safety systems weren’t affected.

“It was discovered quickly by our expert staff,” she said.

“They dealt with it very quickly and determined very quickly that no customer information was breached, nor our safety system compromised in any way,”

WATCH: Metrolinx the target of North Korean cyberattack


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Officials said the cyberattack was discovered within the past two weeks but would not reveal the intended target system.

“It was confined to Metrolinx and it didn’t involve any of our PRESTO systems because that’s on a separate system for additional security-related reasons,” Aikins said.

The RCMP confirmed to Global News they are investigating the matter, but did not release further information as the probe is ongoing.

READ MORE: North Korea reportedly hacked U.S.-South Korea war plans

Metrolinx operates GO Transit and UP Express, but Aikins said no trains or buses were affected.

North Korean hackers have been blamed for a multitude of hacks in the last few years.

Their reported targets include telecommunications companies, media companies like Sony and the U.K.’s Channel Four, and international banks – along with other governments.

They’ve also been blamed for the WannaCry ransomware that paralyzed U.K. hospitals and other companies worldwide by holding their data hostage last spring.

READ MORE: U.S. government says North Korea behind ‘FALLCHILL’ cyber attacks

North Korea generally denies all involvement in cyberattacks.

Aikins said large companies are susceptible to online attacks and viruses but security measures are in place to fend off intrusions.

“Every large company like Metrolinx faces attacks that don’t necessarily get through your system,” she said.

“You protect yourself from that by building a strong firewall protection systems that are tested regularly and monitored carefully.”

LISTEN: Cyber security expert Dave Shipley weighs in on the Metrolinx cyberattack

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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