Two area organizations hit by cyberattacks
Published Friday, September 27, 2019 11:36AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 27, 2019 12:06PM EDT
WINGHAM, Ont. - Hospitals in Listowel and Wingham, Ont. as well as a manufacturing facility in Strathroy, Ont. have been the targets of cyberattacks.
In Listowel and Wingham, hospitals, as well as the communities' medical clinics, are dealing with a cyberattack.
A virus has been planted in their shared computer system, compromising access to medical records and data.
As a precaution, computer systems and networks at both hospitals have taken offline, while police and tech experts try and get to the root of the problem.
Listowel Wingham Hospitals Alliance CEO Karl Ellis says they noticed problems Wednesday, but they do not believe any patient data has been compromised.
Unlike similar cyberattacks in Stratford and Woodstock, no ransom has been demanded from the hackers, yet.
Usually, in a ransomware attack, hackers plant a virus and then offer a key to remove the virus, for a ransom. So far, that hasn’t happened in the Wingham-Listowel cyberattack.
Ellis says he isn’t sure how long the computer systems will be down.
Some clinics and tests have been cancelled due to the cyberattack, but both hospital emergency rooms remain open and emergency care will continue, but with no access to patient records or history, meaning all patient interactions are being recorded on paper.
Stathroy plant also hit
The Meridian plant in Strathroy, Ont. has also been targeted by hackers, with ransomware impacting some manufacturing equipment and computers. It's unclear how much impact it's having on operations.
Strathory police have been contacted about the attack.
"...this incident is being investigated by our criminal investigation unit who are in consultation with the OPP cybercrime unit," says Const. Mark Thuss of the Strathroy police.
Brett Callow, with technology security company Emsisoft, says there are some free solutions that those hit with a cyberattack can try before paying a ransom.
- With files from CTV London's Kathy Rumleski