P.E.I. government computer network attacked six times in one year

Ryan Ross
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No personal information compromised in six attacks between October 2012 and June 2013 that hit public websites, workstations, government email accounts and an unauthorized wireless device

The provincial government’s computer network was the victim of six attacks in one year but no personal information was compromised in the attacks.

Despite tight security measures, the provincial government’s computer network was the victim of six attacks in one year.

Information provided by the Finance Department showed the various attacks between October 2012 and June 2013 hit public websites, workstations, government email accounts and an unauthorized wireless device.

Finance Minister Wes Sheridan said every jurisdiction has to deal with hackers trying to get into its systems.

“What I’m proud to say is our detection methodologies were there to pick them up and were able to patch them and no important information was released,” he said in an interview at the provincial legislature.

In one case involving a public website, a list of usernames and encrypted passwords were obtained but no personally identifiable information was released.

The system was patched and the compromised accounts were suspended until the clients changed their passwords.

Another website compromise was found the next day because of the investigation into the first incident and no data was released.

There were two incidents of an unspecified number of compromised email accounts that sent spam email.

Passwords for those accounts were changed immediately and the attacker’s IP address was blocked.

Malware was involved in two other incidents, including one that saw user accounts locked out while another involved an unauthorized wireless device that accessed a limited use wireless system.

No data was compromised in either case.

Sheridan said what’s important is to learn from every attack and be vigilant.

 “That’s what is so important and we have people, of course, associated with watching these sorts of attacks all the time.”

 

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Finance Department

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Recent comments

  • perhaps
    May 05, 2014 - 17:28

    Spent a lot of money on computers, but none on abortion. Must be men.

  • don
    May 05, 2014 - 09:34

    i think wes better hire some students in high school to protect the government systems. they would know more then what we are paying for now.

  • Maybe someone
    May 05, 2014 - 08:42

    Maybe someone is trying to find out who got PNP money. Ghiz govt wouldn't want that to happen.

    • Ignoramus
      May 05, 2014 - 09:27

      You realize that the Government released the whole list of PNP recipients?

    • Name to Nuumbers
      May 05, 2014 - 15:17

      But did they give all the names hiding behind numbers?

    • Maybe someone
      May 05, 2014 - 17:10

      No they didn't give all the names. Many were simply numbers.

    • Grants Demolition Crew
      May 05, 2014 - 20:37

      Hackers are one of three groups or people, Government Intelligence Agencies, Criminal Networks, or Individuals with a grudge, or nothing to do or something to prove, take your pick at who you think it was.....