St. Amant issues public alert after cyber attack
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An attempted ransomware attack on the computer network of a Winnipeg centre for people with developmental disabilities has been reported to the Manitoba ombudsman.
St. Amant issued a public advisory Friday to inform past clients of a security breach in late August. Hackers got access to St. Amant’s computer network on approximately Aug. 23, and the organization learned of the breach Aug. 30.
At that time, St. Amant shut down access, thwarting a would-be ransomware attack, and brought in a cyber-security company to investigate.
It contacted current clients directly, and issued the public notification hoping to reach people for whom the organization no longer has contact information to advise them their information was potentially viewed by hackers. Anyone involved with St. Amant over the past two years — 10,275 families, volunteers and donors — were mailed letters about the breach.
“After a thorough analysis, a cyber-security company did not find any evidence that information was downloaded or saved by the hacker. However, private information was potentially available to them,” St. Amant stated in a news release, apologizing again for the breach.
The Free Press first reported on the network breach in early September.
The Office of the Manitoba Ombudsman is aware of the incident, St. Amant stated.
The centre is advising people who think they may have been affected to contact the ombudsman’s office at 204-982-9130 or toll-free: 1-800-665-0532 or by email or contact St. Amant’s privacy officer for more information (204-258-7049).
St. Amant notified the ombudsman as required under Manitoba’s freedom of information and protection of privacy legislation, secured its network and rebuilt its servers, the agency stated.
The centre previously sent letters to families involved with St. Amant notifying them of the security breach and providing advice to change passwords and monitor credit reports, set up fraud alerts, and take steps to protect personal medical information.
“We sincerely apologize and regret that this situation has occurred. St. Amant is committed to providing quality services, including protecting the personal information/personal health information in our custody,” the organization stated Friday.