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Town of Didsbury cyberattack may have accessed resident information

"The threat actor may have had access to files with limited information of a small number of residents," says town's release
didsbury-news

DIDSBURY - A ransomeware cyberattack on the Town of Didsbury last month may have seen the culprits gain access to files with information on some residents, town officials said Friday.

On March 21 fraudsters encrypted the town’s information system with ransomware and made a ransom demand to decrypt those systems.

The town has declined to say whether a ransom was paid, and the RCMP is currently investigating the attack.

In a release issued April 16, the town said it has been working to identify whether information was removed from its systems or inappropriately accessed.

“The facts available indicate that the threat actor did not remove a copy of information from the town’s systems. However, the town cannot rule out this risk with absolute certainty,” the release states. 

“The facts available also indicated that between March 19 and 21, the threat actor may have had access to files with limited information of a small number of residents, such as name, phone number, address and email address.”

Since the attack the town has been working to restore the information system and has minimized the interruption of its operations, the release states.

In an interview, Town of Didsbury Mayor Rhonda Hunter says the town is working with the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) to help minimize the threat of future cyberattack.

“It’s one of the downsides of all the technological advances in the world, and we have that threat always. Everyone is doing everything they can to minimize that threat and we appreciate AUMA helping us,” said Hunter.

The town has issued a number of tips for residents and businesses to use in protecting themselves from cybercrimes, including changing passwords frequently and using different passwords for different accounts, and exercising caution when opening attachments, even if they appear to come from legitimate sources.

The AUMA represents municipalities across the province, including Didsbury.