September 28, 2018 1:23 pm

Town of Midland back to normal operations after cyberattack

The town’s network was illegally accessed and infected by ransomware on Sept. 1.

Town of Midland / Facebook

The town of Midland says it has returned to normal operations less than a month after its systems were infected with ransomware and held hostage by cybercriminals.

According to an update released by the town on Monday, “substantive progress” has been made on restoration efforts and on the ongoing forensic investigation into the incident.

READ MORE: Town of Midland set to pay ransom to unlock systems encrypted in cyberattack

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The town’s network was illegally accessed and infected by ransomware on Sept. 1, when cybercriminals used malware to encrypt several town systems, rendering them unusable.

On Sept. 6, the town began the process of paying an undisclosed ransom amount, demanded in bitcoin, to the cybercriminals in exchange for the encryption keys to unlock the systems.

READ MORE: OPP warn of recent cyberattacks targeting local governments

A spokesperson for the town was unable to say if all of the town’s systems have been restored, but said the “relevant systems” have been decrypted and the town has returned to normal operations.

While the investigation is ongoing, the town’s spokesperson was unable to provide Global News with the amount paid to the cybercriminals, saying those numbers are expected to be released when a report is presented to town council at a later date.

The town of Wasaga Beach’s computer system was compromised in a similar incident back in April. The town paid just under $35,000 to decrypt its system and once the cost of internal staff overtime and internal productivity losses were added to the bill, the total cost of the incident amounted to more than $250,000.

Despite speculation that the incidents may have been connected, the town of Midland’s spokesperson says it is not aware of any evidence that suggests the attack was in any way related to the incident in Wasaga Beach.

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

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