Ransomware attack recovery roadmap released by City of Hamilton


Published March 20, 2024 at 7:55 pm

Hamilton sign

The City of Hamilton has released a ‘roadmap to recovery’ from the February 25 cybersecurity attack that wreaked havoc on the city’s IT network.

Mayor Andrea Horwath and City Manager Marnie Cluckie provided an update regarding the ransomware attack following Wednesday’s Council meeting, with the discussions of the matter at the meeting closed to the public.

“I want to assure our community that we are fully committed to addressing the cyber incident and safeguarding the well-being of our residents,” Horwath said. “Restoring our systems and services is akin to putting the puzzle pieces back together, and we are working diligently to ensure every piece is in place for the benefit of our community.”

The next steps to recovery and rebuilding include strengthening the cybersecurity team. In addition to technical advisor CYPFER, Deloitte has been retained to work together with the team of experts to support the recovery, restoration, and rebuilding phases.

“I want to thank residents of Hamiltonians for their patience and understanding as we make good progress on our recovery, restoration and rebuilding efforts,” Horwath said, noting that it was “important” for Hamilton residents to know the City has contained the incident and determined through forensic analysis that “there is no evidence that people’s personal data or information has been compromised.”

Horwath also re-confirmed that Hamilton has not paid a ransom, though she has not stated how much the ransom demand was.

Core services like waste collection, transit, water and wastewater treatment and emergency services continue to be operational and Cluckie acknowledged the cyber attack has had an impact on residents in the way they engage with the City for services.

“The restoration and rebuilding efforts are ongoing, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide updates,” Cluckie said. “Our focus remains on safely and securely restoring services for Hamiltonians and fortifying our systems against future threats. We are committed to emerging stronger from this cyber incident.”

Newly restored services include:

  • Registration for spring recreation programming, which will begin March 27 and 28 at 8 a.m. for Recreation Centres and 10 a.m. for 55+ Seniors Centres.
  • Recreation membership sales and renewals resumed Wednesday (March 20). Admission fees for recreation drop-in programs (such as drop-in pool, skating, basketball, etc.) will also resume.
  • Electronic payments for recreation programs and services, which can now be processed in person at the Lister Block 3rd Floor Customer Service Counter (77 James Street North).
  • New dog licences and renewals can be processed in person at all municipal service centres this week, as well as at the City of Hamilton Animal Services located at 247 Dartnall Road. The services are not yet available online.
  • All late fees for dog licence renewals are currently being waived and will continue to be waived until 30 days after the City’s online renewal portal is restored.
  • Building inspections are continuing and can be booked via email at [email protected]. Staff continue to accept new building permit applications, advance existing building permit applications, and issue building permits.

A complete list of services resuming, additional information about the cybersecurity incident and answers to frequently asked questions is available online at hamilton.ca/cyberincident. Residents can also call the City’s Customer Contact Centre at (905) 546-2489.

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