Iqaluit, Nunavut (November 3, 2019) – On Saturday, November 2, 2019, a new and sophisticated type of ransomware affected the GN, across the territory. The ransomware encrypted individual files on various servers and workstations. As a result, all government services requiring access to electronic information stored on the GN network are impacted, except Qulliq Energy Corporation.
“I want to assure Nunavummiut that we are working non-stop to resolve this issue,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq. “Essential services will not be impacted and the GN will continue to operate while we work through this issue. There will likely be some delays as we get back online, and I thank everyone for their patience and understanding.”
There is no concern at this time with the loss of personal information or privacy breaches. Typically, ransomware does not distribute information to other parties and cannot access the content itself. It can only block the user from further accessing the information. Once the issue was identified, the GN took immediate action by isolating the network, notifying cybersecurity experts and working with our internet software providers. It is difficult to estimate recovery timelines at this early stage.
GN departments are implementing contingency plans to ensure uninterrupted services to Nunavummiut. Restoring electronic data for services related to health, family services, education, justice and finance, is a priority.
GN services remain available and open, but some services will be delayed. For medical appointments, all patients are asked to bring their health card and any medication when going to clinics.
The GN is working to ensure that data is restored and accessible as soon as possible, and expects the majority of files will be restored, using existing up-to-date back-ups.
GN phone services in Iqaluit are functional for direct dial only. Voice mail and phone services in communities are not impacted. Qikiqtani General Hospital, schools across the territory, the Baffin Correctional Centre and Nunavut Arctic College phone systems are not impacted. Any GN weather closures will be announced via GN social media.
Updates will be provided as they become available via GN social media and radio.