Town of Midland network breached in cyberattack: officials

The town of Midland has confirmed its network was illegally accessed and infected with ransomware. File photo

Officials in Midland have confirmed the town’s network has been illegally accessed and infected with ransomware.

According to a press release issued on Tuesday afternoon, staff confirmed the town is the latest municipality to fall victim to a cyberattack.

“In the early hours of Saturday, September 1, the Town of Midland became the victim of a sophisticated cyberattack in which the Town’s network was illegally accessed and affected with ransomware,” the release reads.

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According to the release, the malware was able to encrypt a number of town systems, rendering them unusable.

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Town officials say they have received a ransom demand in order to decrypt the system.

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“Town of Midland staff worked quickly to isolate and to activate a cyber incident investigation and response,” the release reads. “All necessary steps are being taken to restore the access to systems and files, and to ensure operations return to normal as quickly as possible.”

According to the release, vital services such as fire, water and waste-management services have not been impacted as a result of the attack.

“Residents can rest assured that we are taking this matter extremely seriously,” Midland Mayor Gord McKay said in the release. “We are working closely with cybersecurity experts that specialize in these types of illegal attacks, and we have reported the incident to law enforcement and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.”

According to the release, the town had secured an insurance policy for protection in the event of this type of illegal activity and had developed a strategy to address cybersecurity threats. The town was also in the process of implementing enhanced security measures at the time of the attack.

“At the time of the attack, the Town was in the process of making several improvements to our IT security,” town of Midland chief administrative officer John Skorobohacz said in the release.

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“Once systems are fully restored, we will continue with those plans and look for additional opportunities to enhance our security based on the guidance of cybersecurity experts,” he said.

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