The City of Dawson Creek is reeling after they fell victim to a cyber-attack on Wednesday evening.

According to city staff, their network was illegally accessed and infected with ransomware as the malware was able to encrypt a number of systems, making them unusable.

Mayor Dale Bumstead told incidents like these are becoming all too common.

“It seems the way of the world today where these cyberattacks can impact your organization where these criminals don’t leave a fingerprint, which can make it very frustrating.”

Thankfully no information was taken but they remain locked out.

“Basically, this ransomware locks you out of your systems and they have locked us out of our back up as well as our main system so we have no access to any of our files like financial or human resources.”

The City of Dawson Creek will provide an update on Monday.

Here is the statement from civic staff:

In the early hours of Thursday, January 9th, the City of Dawson Creek discovered that it was the victim of a cyber-attack in which the City’s network was illegally accessed and infected with ransomware. The malware was able to encrypt a number of City systems, rendering them temporarily unusable.

The city of Dawson Creek staff worked quickly to isolate the attack and to activate a comprehensive cyber incident investigation and response. The impacted systems were backed up, and all necessary steps are being taken to restore access to systems and files and to ensure operations and services return to normal as quickly as possible.

There is currently no evidence to suggest that any information was removed from the City’s systems or inappropriately accessed, and cybersecurity experts are working quickly to confirm this.

“Residents can be confident that we are taking this matter seriously,” said Mayor Bumstead. “We are working closely with cybersecurity experts that specialize in these types of incidents. We thank everyone for their patience and continued support during this situation.”

“The City has an insurance policy that has provided us with access to leading cybersecurity experts,” added Chief Administrative Officer Duncan Redfearn. “Once systems are fully, restored, we will be looking for additional opportunities to enhance our IT security based on the guidance of the cybersecurity experts.”

Vital services, such as fire, waste management, and water management, were not impacted because these systems were designed to be isolated for security reasons. City of Dawson Creek’s email functions have been impacted as a result of this incident and we are working diligently to restore service as quickly as possible.