PC MLA calls for privacy commissioner to investigate ransomware attack on P.E.I. government website

PC MLA Steven Myers is calling for an investigation by the privacy commissioner into the ransomware attack on the province's website Monday.

No indication of data breach say provincial officials

Steven Myers asked if the privacy commissioner could step in to determine if data was breached during the ransomware attack on the provincial government's website earlier this week. (P.E.I. Legislature)

PC MLA Steven Myers is calling for an investigation by the privacy commissioner into the ransomware attack on the province's website Monday.

"I believe this is a very serious thing and I don't trust that any politician is going to give an answer to Islanders whether or not their data was actually breached. Will you call in the privacy commissioner and have her investigate this and [assure] all Islanders that their data is safe?" asked Myers in the house.       

Finance Minister Health MacDonald, the minister responsible for Information Technology Shared Services (ITSS), told the house he takes the incident very seriously.

He said information security officials have assured him there is no indication of a breach of private user data. 

No private information released

"We're living in a world where technology is a force. And the ransom malware that was produced yesterday — we shut it down immediately. And there was no information released on Islanders," said MacDonald. 

In an interview with CBC on Monday, Scott Cudmore, an information security official with the province, said officials are confident no data was breached, and have the evidence to back that up. 

"We have a number of network devices that allow us to connect to the internet. Those network devices will monitor the amount of data that's coming into our website and going out of our website," said Cudmore. 

"So when we look at the amount of data that was being transferred back to the internet we discovered that there was no large amount of data that was being transferred back. In fact it was normal. It was for a normal day," he said. 

MacDonald said the vulnerability has been resolved and officials are working on minimizing an attack in the future. 

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About the Author

Krystalle Ramlakhan

Krystalle Ramlakhan is a multi-platform journalist with CBC Ottawa. She has also worked for CBC in P.E.I., Winnipeg and Iqaluit.