PEI

Liquor store computer shutdown caused by coding error

The P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission (LCC) says the cause of Saturday's computer shutdown was a flaw in third-party security software.

The commission's CFO says the problem was with third-party security software

All corporate P.E.I. Liquor stores closed for more than six hours Saturday afternoon. (CBC News)

The P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission (LCC) says the cause of Saturday's computer shutdown was a flaw in third-party security software.

All corporate liquor stores across the province were closed for more than six hours Saturday as the commission's IT personnel tried to resolve the issue, which shut down all point of sales systems.

Carl Adams, Chief Financial Officer of the LCC said the computers shut down as they would have if there was a cyber attack. 

"It disconnected all our lanes from the outside, which is sort of what we hope for, so that if it is an attack, and we're still sorting that out, it can't go any further," said Adams.

Human error

Adams explained there was a coding error in a software update the third-party company downloaded. IT personnel worked all afternoon to identify the problem, and fixed it around 5:45 p.m. Saturday.

Corporate Liquor stores started to reopen after 6 p.m. 

Adams was glad the issue boiled down to human error, and not a malicious attack.

"We all make mistakes," Adams said. 

He said this was the first time the LCC has ever experienced a computer shutdown like this, but the commission has protocols in place, which staff followed.