The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party is conducting a full review of its internal database following a ransomware attack that occurred last November.
Interim Leader Vic Fedeli confirmed the cyberattack occurred Nov. 1, 2017, and targeted the database containing sensitive personal information of potential voters in the province, including anyone who has donated to the party or volunteered for a campaign.
“There are concerns involving our internal reporting, membership lists and the security of our information technology systems. Fixing this — and it needs fixing — will be a massive undertaking,” Fedeli said Tuesday. “I have immediately ordered the proper work to be done, I’ve been completely briefed on our servers. We are completely protected.”
Fedeli, who also announced he will not seek permanent leadership of the party, said the ransomware attack did not result in any data being stolen from the party’s database.
The party has been rocked by a series of controversies since its leader Patrick Brown resigned in the face of sexual misconduct allegations, which he has denied. Party president Rick Dykstra, announced his resignation Sunday just hours before sexual assault allegations against him were reported, which he also denies.
Fedeli says he won’t use the word corruption but plans to ”root out the rot” in his party ahead of the March leadership contest which will select a successor to Brown ahead of the June 7 election.
“Rot can come just over time, it can come holistically, it can just happen,” he said.
There will also be an investigation into the party’s list of 200,000 members, amid swirling reports that some members may be fraudulent.
“I’ve ordered a complete investigation into the names and addresses of those 200,000,” he said. “Like you, I’ve heard the stories … I wouldn’t have done that if I was completely satisfied.”