Cybersecurity recovery in Hamilton shifting to system rebuild mode

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Published March 14, 2024 at 5:45 pm

cyber security

Nearly three weeks after a cybersecurity attack crippled much of the City of Hamilton’s IT network, efforts have finally shifted from incident response to the recovery and rebuilding of the systems.

“I want to express my thanks to Hamiltonians for their patience and understanding over the last few weeks,” said Mayor Andrea Horwath. “As City staff continue to prioritize the response to this cybersecurity incident, I want to assure residents that we are taking this matter very seriously and are doing everything we can to minimize the impact and protect the community.”

Work to this point has focused on containment and isolation of our infrastructure to prevent the cyber criminals from inflicting further damage. The focus of the work has now shifted to the recovery stage to prioritize the restoration and rebuild of critical systems and to conduct testing to make sure the systems can function safely.

Recovery and rebuilding will help support internal operations with the goal of making more services available as “quickly and securely as possible.”

The City continues to collaborate with cyber experts and authorities at various levels, including forensic analysis of criminal activity within the system.

Critical services such as curbside waste collection, transit, water and wastewater treatment and emergency services continue to be delivered. The majority of community programs and services are being delivered, either through manual processes or other alternate means.

“City staff are really rising to the occasion, and I am so grateful to our team of experts who continue to work around the clock to respond to this incident and find creative ways to deliver the services our community relies on each day,” said City Manager Marnie Cluckie. “We are committed to providing service to Hamiltonians and recovering safely and securely.”

Current service level updates:

  • The Customer Contact Centre – (905) 546-2489- is available to respond to questions and concerns from residents, as well as supporting Fire Prevention Services and Provincial Offences Administration general enquiries.
  • Development applications and building permits continue to be processed and building inspections continue.
  • Most transactions usually processed online can be processed manually in person at City Hall and Municipal Service Centers, such as marriage license applications and burn permit applications.
  • Payments to vendors are in progress and support payments continue to be processed.
  • Guest Wi-Fi connectivity at most libraries is now available.
  • Municipal Service Centres and Transfer Stations (Community Recycling Centres and Yard Waste Drop offs) can now accept all forms of payment.

For the latest information, a full list of service disruptions and answers to frequently asked questions, visit hamilton.ca/cyberincident.

Council and Committee meetings will resume March 27.

Video: City of Hamilton Virtual Media Briefing: Cybersecurity Incident Response – March 4, 2024.

Video: City Manager Update – Cybersecurity Incident

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