City of Hamilton Hit by Ransomware Attack

Written by Gabby Lee

March 7, 2024

City of Hamilton Hit by Ransomware Attack

Hamilton ransomware attack has significantly disrupted city services for more than a week. During a virtual call on Monday afternoon, City manager Marnie Cluckie and Mayor Andrea Horwath revealed the details of the cyber attack for the first time.

This call was the city’s first public statement since the breach caused by the Hamilton ransomware attack began on February 25.

The ransomware attack has caused the shutdown of almost all city phone lines, halted city council operations, and affected numerous services, such as the bus schedule app, library WiFi, and permit applications. The city has not provided a timeline for resolving the situation.

“It’s impossible to know how long it will take us to get fully up and running again,”

“I can tell you that we will only restore systems when we are confident we can do so safely and securely.”

Cluckie said.

City Officials Remain Tight Lipped On Hamilton Ransomware Attack Stolen Data

City officials stated that they do not believe any personal data has been accessed as a result of the ransomware attack, according to Cluckie. Hamilton police have been informed and will be launching an investigation into the matter.

Cluckie emphasized the sensitivity of the situation and mentioned that she has been cautious about disclosing details regarding the ongoing developments behind the scenes. She declined to reveal specifics such as the ransom amount demanded by the attackers or their location.

However, Cluckie assured that the city has insurance coverage to mitigate the impact of cybersecurity breaches. Additionally, she noted that the city has enlisted the services of cybersecurity specialists at Cypfer to address the attack.

Cypfer is tasked with providing forensic analysis, incident response, and legal support in managing the situation.

Hamilton Cybersecurity Incident Affected Numerous Services City Wide

According to the city, numerous services have been affected by the ransomware attack:

  • Phone lines for programs, councillors, and provincial offences administration are down, except for the Customer Contact Centre, which is operational with delays.
  • Online systems for payments, including fire prevention service requests and business licensing, are inaccessible.
  • Engineering permits, online drawing requests, and genealogical information at cemeteries are unavailable.
  • Libraries are open for borrowing, but services like WiFi and printing are unavailable.
  • Public health services, property tax payments, Ontario Works, and city vendor payments are facing disruptions.
  • Transfer stations, childcare services, transit operations, Hamilton Water services, city mapping, and recreational facilities are all impacted to varying degrees.

Stay tuned for more updates!

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