The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has isolated much of its computer network following a ransomware attempt in August, 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen works to address ransomware attack

Internet and email taken offline following attempted attack on Aug. 11

An attempted ransomware attack earlier this month has the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen working to secure its computer systems.

Danny Francisco, information services manager at the regional district, said the ransomware attempt was discovered on Aug. 11. Cyber security experts have been brought in to help remove this type of computer virus, which typically blocks access to files until a ransom is paid.

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The regional district is working with limited access to its internal system network and email services. As a result, vendor payments and automatic withdrawals may be delayed.

In addition, staff isolated the computer network and took email, internet and other services offline.

“Our team has been focussed on getting operations up and running,” Francisco said.

Bill Newell, chief administrative officer of the regional district, said the attempted attack was caught by the system’s firewall and did not result in stolen data. However, the investigation is necessary to ensure malware or ransomware has not been installed.

The regional district is continuing to operate with limited access to its system as a result of the attempted attack.

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