Cyberattack suspended Hamilton committee meetings return

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Published March 11, 2024 at 12:49 pm

Hamilton City Hall

Hamilton has announced its plan to re-instate committee meetings after they were indefinitely suspended due to the recent cyberattack.

The city was struck on Feb. 25, resulting in several service disruptions. Almost all city phone lines went down. Hamilton Street Railway lost their computer systems and the announcer’s voice. However, HSR was able to continue operations without the onboard computers.

The attack also led to the shutdown of recreation program registration and closed some recreation centres. It additionally delayed suspensions for unvaccinated students and city meetings.

More than a week later, Mayor Andrea Horwath and City Manager Marnie Cluckie held a press conference in which they confirmed the incident was the result of a ransomware cyber attack.

While Cluckie provided few details of the attack, she said it was under investigation. The city does not believe residents’ information was compromised.

However, the government must go on. The city announced its new meeting rollout plan on March 11, but it’ll be a sizeable wait. Meetings aren’t set to resume until March 27, more than a month after the attack.

Even then, the meetings will only be focused on “time-sensitive” matters. The city expects to return to full-scale meetings in April.

All comittee meetings for the next two weeks have been cancelled. Their agendas, if not time-sensitive, will be deferred to later meetings.

“Staff have been working to resolve some of the technology challenges posed by the Cybersecurity Incident to run Committee and Council meetings, prioritizing accessibility and in accordance with Procedural By-Laws,” the city said.

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