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Saskatchewan hit by cyberattack
SECURITY

Saskatchewan hit by cyberattack 

Richard Murray, the province’s deputy minister of Central Services, said that Saskatchewan.ca was brought down for approximate two-and-a-half hours Sunday night by an “unprecedented volume of traffic.”

“We were hot by some sort of denial of service attack,” he said to reporters during a media scrum Monday afternoon. “…IT services have not confirmed if it is WannaCry.”

The government’s Web site was up and running as of Monday afternoon.

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Murray said that “personal information is very well protected” and that there have been no reports of any data breach.

“There have been no demands for ransom,” he added.

He said the government services only suffered “minor glitches.”

Computer systems affected by attack included those related to the Central Services and Justice, the province’s courthouses, agricultural systems and other ministries.

Over the weekend, security researchers reported that more than 200,000 systems in some 150 countries were hit by the ransomware known as WannaCry.

As governments and businesses around the world scramble to prevent their data from being “held hostage” here are accusations that the threat could be traced to software vulnerabilities exploited and leaked by the United States National Security Agency.

Find out more about Microsoft’s contention that the NSA was linked to WannaCry, here.

The Government of Saskatchewan was not the only Canadian organization hit by a cyber attack in the last few days.

Lakeridge Health in Oshawa, one of the largest community hospitals in Ontario, said they believe their computer system was attacked by WannaCry. However, the hospital’s IT team was able to thwart the attack and reset the system without any damage to patient and hospital records.

Murray said Saskatchewan’s IT team continues to conduct patches of the software and services used by the province.

He said he didn’t want to “jump to the assumption” that the attack was related to WannaCry.

The province is, however, aware of warnings from security experts that there could be a second wave attack on Monday or a third and even fourth wave by the weekend, said Murray. 

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