TTC says investigation underway amid ransomware attack

A woman wearing a protective face mask waits for the streetcar in the financial district in Toronto, Ont., on Nov. 3, 2020, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Rachel Verbin

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) says an investigation is underway amid a ransomware attack that has impacted some services and systems.

The TTC said in a statement that staff learned the transit agency was the victim of a ransomware attack on Friday.

The statement said IT staff first detected “unusual network activity” Thursday night and began investigating.

“Impact was minimal until midday today (Friday) when hackers broadened their strike on network servers,” the statement said.

Due to the attack, online Wheel-Trans bookings are unavailable, as is next vehicle information on platform screens, apps and on the TTC website.

The TTC said its internal email service is offline and the agency’s “Vision system,” which is used to communicate with vehicle operators, is also not available. Operators are still able to communicate with transit control by radio, however.

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The TTC said it has also cancelled a Saturday subway closure on Line 1 between St. Clair and College stations which was going to be used to complete track work.

“This incident did not cause significant service disruptions and there is no risk to employee or customer safety,” the statement said.

“The full extent of the attack is being looked into and the TTC is working with law enforcement and cybersecurity experts on this matter. The City of Toronto’s IT Services department has also been consulted.”

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