It’s been nearly a month since the City of Saint John said hackers seized its IT services in a ransomware attack – and City Manager John Collin says it’ll be at least another before things are back to normal.
At Monday night’s meeting of Common Council, Collin said staff working on the file will be granted a “well-deserved rest” over the holidays.
“We do not anticipate that our IT services, our networks if you will, will be rejoined to the public until sometime later on in January,” he told the city’s mayor and council.
Collin said Saint John’s networks won’t be made public again until staff is 100 per cent sure it’s safe to do so.
“Our approach, in terms of determining that it is safe to do so is very deliberate and exhaustive,” he said.
In the meantime, Collin said all services have been restored in some form or another, with transactions like building permits and some payment services happening manually inside city hall.
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He said the ability to deliver these services grants the city the time to carefully and properly get things going again.
Saint John’s websites, as well as some city hall phone lines and email addresses, went down on Nov. 13 – but it wasn’t until the 15th that residents were told it was because of a cyberattack.
It was another two days before the city confirmed it was ransomware.
The city said it doesn’t know if any personal information was accessed by the hackers responsible, but Collin said there was no sign of that on Nov. 17.
The city did not disclose how much money was demanded as ransom.