Update on Midland ransomware incident

In the early hours of Sept. 1, the Town of Midland became the victim of a sophisticated cyberattack in which their network was illegally accessed and infected with ransomware. The malware was able to encrypt several town systems, rendering them unusable.

Since then, the town officials have been working closely with cybersecurity experts to restore access to systems and files, and to ensure operations return to normal as quickly as possible.

Significant progress has been made. In addition to restoring critical email accounts, Internet access is being restored within town buildings. Under the guidance of cybersecurity experts, town officials have initiated the process to pay the ransom in exchange for the decryption keys.

“Although not ideal, it is in our best interest to bring the system back online as quickly as possible,” says a recent news release. “The town had previously secured an insurance policy to cover such circumstances. Decryption efforts are underway.

“The Town of Midland understands that residents and businesses are concerned about the potential for privacy breaches with respect to information held by the Town. We understand and appreciate the concern, but ongoing investigations have not found any evidence that suggests information was inappropriately accessed or removed from our systems.”

Vital services, such as fire services and water and wastewater management, were not impacted as those systems are purposely isolated for security reasons. However, residents asked to note the following temporary changes to town operations: 24-hour emergency line 705-527-4424; operations centre 705-526-4275 ext. 2243 and water/wastewater 705-529-1536.

Any issues regarding wastewater backup resulting from recent storms should be directed to the temporary water/wastewater number indicated above. Please continue to use 911 for emergencies.

Residential and Business Accounts

  • We can only accept cash or cheque payments.
  • We are temporarily unable to access business or residential account information or balances.

Permits and Inspections

  • Permit processing may take longer than usual. We appreciate your patience.
  • Building inspections and plan reviews are not affected.

Midland Transit Passes

  • The Town of Midland Municipal Office is unable to sell passes or reload transit cards at this time, however, free passes are being offered to travel to Penetanguishene where cards can be reloaded.
  • Riders can also pay cash to ride the Midland Transit buses, however, the exact fare amount is required. Drivers cannot provide change.

Marriage Licenses

  • The Town of Midland is currently unable to process marriage applications.
  • Marriage licenses can be obtained at the Township of Tiny municipal office, Tay Township municipal office, or the Penetanguishene municipal office.

Clément H photo

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