Woodstock racks up more than $1-million bill over pair of cyberattacks

FILE. Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press

A report going to Woodstock city council this week outlines how staff suggest the city cover the one-time costs of two expensive cyberattack incidents in September 2019.

The report also lists a final breakdown of the expenses incurred, which comes in at $1,037,952.98.

READ MORE: September cyberattack cost Woodstock nearly $670,000, report says

The cyberattack targeting the city itself was first reported in late September and resulted in a shutdown of the city’s entire computer network, barring access to emails and other resources needed to continue normal business operations. Days later, city police were targeted by a similar attack.

At a meeting in December, city staff estimated the cost of the cyberattack on the city at $667,627.18 and recommended that council approve using the entirety of its $232,619 modernization grant from the province as well as $54,808.18 from the city’s salaries and benefits reserve fund to help cover the costs.

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What was still owing, staff had suggested, could be paid for through the city’s Hydro Reserve Fund, which at the time had a balance of roughly $2.9 million.

The report also stressed that the city did not reach out to those behind the cyberattack, nor did it pay a ransom. Instead, a tape backup system that was not impacted by the incident was used to restore information and software once the city’s network was rebuilt.

A report going to Woodstock council on Feb. 6, 2020 lists a breakdown of the costs associated with a pair of cyberattacks in September 2019. City of Woodstock

The latest report, to be tabled at Thursday’s council meeting, added an additional $25,656.11 to the costs incurred addressing the cyberattack targeting the city — for minor equipment purchases and additional professional fees — and also outlined the total costs associated with the cyberattack targeting police, which came in at $344,669.69.

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

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The bulk of the costs associated with the police cyberattack was $309,195.08 in professional fees paid to Deloitte LLP.

City staff are recommending that council turn to the Hydro Reserve Fund to cover remaining costs. Staff also stress that “this is an extraordinary event that cannot be accommodated in the 2019 budget.”

Council will make its decision on Thursday.

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— with files from Global News Radio 980 CFPL’s Andrew Graham.

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