Cyberattacks hit 2 Quebec factories

Aluminerie Alouette in Sept-Îles and the Bridgestone tire plant in Joliette were victims of separate cyber attacks Friday and Sunday respectively.

Hacker behind the attacks is not yet known

The Alouette aluminum plant, in Sept-Îles, Que., has maintained production despite suffering a cyberattack on Feb. 25. (Radio-Canada)

Two Quebec factories are working to restore their computer systems after facing recent cyberattacks.

The Alouette aluminum plant in Sept-Îles and the Bridgestone tire plant in Joliette were victims of separate cyberattacks Friday and Sunday respectively.

Bridgestone has stopped production in all its factories in North America and Latin America while it conducts an internal investigation.

Joliette Mayor Pierre-Luc Bellerose said the company employs around 1,300 people in Joliette, which is about 50 kilometres northeast of Montreal.

The aluminum plant, about 900 kilometres northeast of Montreal in Quebec's North Shore region, is running but emails and landline phone services are interrupted. 

Jean Simard, general manager of the Canadian Aluminum Association, says Alouette is a prime target for cyberattacks since aluminum smelters are considered strategic infrastructure in a country like Canada.

Recovering from cyberattacks, he says, can also be costly for businesses.

"There's reputational damage also with the markets that's very important," he said.

Cybersecurity expert Claude Vigeant says attacks are common and are typically done for money. He also warned that hacking is bound to increase with Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"It's almost a certainty that it will generate more and more cyberattacks, especially on the supply chain," he said.

The hacker and their reason for carrying out the cyberattacks are not yet known.

With files from Émilie Warren and Radio-Canada's Karine Bastien