PEI

P.E.I. ransomware attack costs taxpayers more than $900K

A recent ransomware attack on P.E.I. government servers has cost taxpayers more than $900,000, according to P.E.I.'s finance minister.

Investigation continues in provincial government data breach

The govement has not said how many Islanders have been directly affected. (PabloLagarto/Shutterstock)

A recent ransomware attack on P.E.I. government servers has cost taxpayers more than $900,000, according to P.E.I.'s finance minister.

Darlene Compton told the legislature the costs are in two areas: upgrades to existing government hardware and providing two years of free credit monitoring subscriptions to Islanders whose information was stolen.

The total cost of the data breach is $909,387.

A group of hackers claimed to be responsible and said they were stealing 200 GBs of data. The group is infamous for humiliating victims until they pay up but the province said it did not pay any ransom to the hackers. 

Virus active for 90 minutes

"We were proactive in informing Islanders about the event," said Darelne Compton. "We personally spoke to those directly affected once it was known that their data had been stolen."

The province said it did not pay the hackers' ransom. (CBC)

The government has not said how many private citizens are affected by the attack that took place in late February. The virus was active for 90 minutes before it was contained, according to government officials.

Compton said the investigation is still ongoing and the government has continued to keep the privacy commissioner up to date.

"As this was a criminal action, the RCMP are involved," said Compton. "We will not have a finalized report until their investigation is concluded." 

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Angela Walker

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