British Columbia

Hackers attack City of Dawson Creek's computer systems

Mayor says attack was isolated quickly and no data appears to be lost.

Mayor says attack was isolated quickly, no data appears to be lost

The City of Dawson Creek's computer systems were attacked by hackers on Thursday. (Andrew Kurjata/CBC)

The City of Dawson Creek says its computer systems were hacked Thursday in an apparent ransomware attack.

In a notice posted online, Mayor Dale Bumstead said city files were temporarily encrypted, making them impossible to access.

He said staff were able to isolate the attack quickly, and it does not appear any data was lost, but cyber-security experts have been contracted to confirm that information.

Ransomware attacks are used to extort people, companies and governments into paying money to regain access to files that have been locked by hackers.

The government of Nunavut's communications system was impacted by such an attack in November, and this past week the computer system that stores the confidential medical data of Saskatchewan residents was also attacked.

The City of Dawson Creek says it expects to have a full update for residents by Monday afternoon, and that the city's insurance would pay for the cost of analyzing the attack.

Ransomware attacks are changing. Cyber criminals are learning to target the most vulnerable systems including our municipalities, schools and hospitals. Today on Front Burner, tech journalist and friend of the podcast Matt Braga tells us why just changing passwords isn’t enough to keep critical data and services safe from cyber crime. 22:53