NL Gazette

Inside St. John’s response to a “devastating” cyberattack.

Records show how the city responded to the 2020 attack that blocked the network from the outside world

On November 26, 2020, it was dark for almost two weeks in St. John, New Brunswick. The city’s website was destroyed and the city suffered thousands of hours of work losses, affecting the emergency system.

It was the work of cybercriminals to unleash the ransomware attack, forcing the city to separate from the rest of the online world. St. John hired a Toronto-based company to negotiate navigation with them.

However, the criminals were not communicative.

Ryuk Threat Actors has not contacted you since the sample files were decrypted on November 20th. “CYPFER (Cyber ​​Security, Payment Facilitator) President and CEO, Jason Kotler, Emergency Response) wrote in an email to a city lawyer and an outside counsel on November 26th.

Ryuk is patient and will probably not answer until we follow again. It is assumed to hear from them within a week. Nevertheless, we continue to observe.

The city hasn’t said much about responding to cyberattacks, but the aftermath continues to affect some businesses a year later. More than 160 pages of records that give a glimpse of the post-attack turmoil were published only after CBC News complained about access to the information.

The city eventually decided not to pay the ransom, was valued by the city council for $ 17 to $ 20 million worth of Bitcoin, and instead chose to rebuild the network from scratch.

The decision might have a serious impact on the citizens of a foggy Atlantic port city.

St. John’s experience can provide lessons for Newfoundland and Labrador, which have been hit by cyberattacks that have caused havoc and canceled medical and cancer treatments.

Officials in the province gave few details about how the attack occurred, but last week confirmed that both employee and patient records had been stolen. 

Read More: Inside Saint John’s response to a ‘devastating’ cyberattack | CBC News

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