Insights

Cybersecurity

St. John Victim of Cyber Attack

A massive cyberattack has ground many municipal operations to a halt in Saint John, New Brunswick. The suspected ransomware attack on the city government caused havoc. Government officials said in a statement that while its 911 communications network is open, the cyberattack has shut the city’s website, email, online payment system, and customer service applications.

Canadian municipalities, as other businesses, are vulnerable to cyber attacks, including ransomware. Municipalities have become especially targeted because they are are government-funded, hold lots of personal data and therefore are easily convinced to pay up because repairing the damage of encrypted systems is so costly. For example, the City of Baltimore in the U.S. estimated that a 2019 ransomware attack on city computers cost at least $18.2 million to restore systems and make up for lost or delayed revenue.