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‘Cyberattack’ on City of Woodstock being investigated: official

Ransomware is malicious software that is designed to block a user’s access to their own computer systems.
Ransomware is malicious software that is designed to block a user’s access to their own computer systems. EPA/SASCHA STEINBACH

A virus has shut down the City of Woodstock’s computer systems in what the city is calling a possible cyberattack.

Chief Administrative Officer David Creery said a virus popped up on Saturday and is preventing the city from accessing their emails and data.

“Recovery is underway, servers are being restored. We are hopeful we could begin a very controlled entry by mid-week to re-deploy the digital resources.”

He added after learning about the virus the city took their computer system offline, allowing them to isolate the virus and stop it from spreading.

READ MORE: Waterloo student housing website hit by cyberattack

A station by station sweep is now being done to all of the servers to find out how the virus gained access.

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“The breach certainly has the appearance of a ransomware attack but we can confirm we have not had a ransom demand to date,” Creery said.

Ransomware is malicious software that is designed to block a user’s access to their own computer systems.

A similar incident happened to City of Stratford a few months back when the city had to pay $75,000 to unlock their data.

READ MORE: City of Stratford faced with ‘ransomware situation’

Creery said anyone wanting to get in contact with Woodstock will not be able to do so via email, but the phones are still working and city services continue.

The incident is currently being investigated by the OPP Cyber Crimes Unit and Woodstock police.

Creery added at this time there is no evidence of information being accessed or transferred.

WATCH July 10, 2019: Toronto council set to improve procedures after two cyberattacks go unreported

Click to play video 'Toronto council set to improve procedures after two cyberattacks go unreported' Toronto council set to improve procedures after two cyberattacks go unreported
Toronto council set to improve procedures after two cyberattacks go unreported

“The experts have been undertaking an investigation, we are looking at how it got into the system, when did it get into the system, why did it get in. We need all of those questions answered,” he said.

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Woodstock police released a statement saying more details on the case will be made available Tuesday morning.