Ont. hospital hit by global ransomware attack
A southern Ontario hospital was affected by a global ransomware attack that hit hospitals, companies and government offices in nearly 100 countries on Friday.
Lakeridge Health in Oshawa, a city east of Toronto, has confirmed it experienced computer problems Friday that were linked to the global cyber-attack.
“Our antivirus systems apparently disabled the virus, which was not able to seriously impact our network,” a hospital spokesperson said in a written statement Saturday. “No health information was compromised and we did not lose any data. Most importantly, patient care was unaffected.”
The wide-reaching online attacks, which held users’ computer files for ransom, affected hundreds of thousands of computers. It is believed to be the largest attack of its kind.
The malware, known as WannaCry, is based on a cyber spying tool developed by the U.S. National Security Agency and leaked by anti-Trump hackers this year.
WannaCry also made an appearance in Waterloo, Ont., Canada’s high tech hub, where ransomware appeared on an apartment building’s lobby computer screen.
According to a Public Safety Canada representative, the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre is aware of the attacks. They did not mention if Canadians had been affected.
Canada’s Communications Security Establishment intelligence agency said that federal government computers do not appear to have been attacked.
As of Saturday night, a second wave of attacks had begun. Security experts say you can protect yourself by backing up your files, avoiding clicking on unfamiliar links and updating computer software regularly.
Here is a look at some of the places hit by the global cyberattack:
EUROPEAN UNION: Europol's European Cybercrime Centre, known as EC3, said the attack "is at an unprecedented level and will require a complex international investigation to identify the culprits."
BRITAIN: Britain's home secretary said the "ransomware" attack hit one in five of 248 National Health Service groups, forcing hospitals to cancel or delay treatments for thousands of patients -- even some with serious aliments like cancer.
GERMANY: The national railway said Saturday departure and arrival display screens at its train stations were affected, but there was no impact on actual train services. Deutsche Bahn said it deployed extra staff to help customers.
RUSSIA: Two security firms -- Kaspersky Lab and Avast -- said Russia was hit hardest by the attack. The Russian Interior Ministry, which runs the country's police, confirmed it was among those that fell victim to the "ransomware," which typically flashes a message demanding payment to release the user's data. Spokeswoman Irina Volk was quoted by the Interfax news agency Saturday as saying the problem had been "localized" and that no information was compromised. Russia's health ministry said its attacks were "effectively repelled."
UNITED STATES: In the U.S., FedEx Corp. reported that its Windows computers were "experiencing interference" from malware, but wouldn't say if it had been hit by ransomware. Other impacts in the U.S. were not readily apparent.
TURKEY: The head of Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority or BTK says the nation was among those affected by the ransomware attack. Omer Fatih Sayan said the country's cyber security centre is continuing operations against the malicious software.
FRANCE: French carmaker Renault's assembly plant in Slovenia halted production after it was targeted. Radio Slovenia said Saturday the Revoz factory in the southeastern town of Novo Mesto stopped working Friday evening to stop the malware from spreading.
BRAZIL: The South American nation's social security system had to disconnect its computers and cancel public access. The state-owned oil company Petrobras and Brazil's Foreign Ministry also disconnected computers as a precautionary measure, and court systems went down, too.
SPAIN: The attack hit Spain's Telefonica, a global broadband and telecommunications company.
With files from CTV Toronto and The Associated Press