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Canada: Quebec local government outlines its response to cyber incident

By immediately cutting all Internet connections, the Kativik regional government claims to have prevented any potential data leak.

Digital Sovereignty - July 21, 2023

On July 12, 2023, the Kativik regional government (KRG) provided an update on the cyberattack it suffered on June 25, 2023. The KRG is an administrative entity that combines local government and the regional government of the County of Nunavik, in northern Quebec.

The source of the intrusion remains a mystery, but the rapid response helped curb its impact. Paul Parsons, acting head of the KRG, claimed that, as soon as the incident was discovered, local authorities cut all Internet connections. It thus prevented any data extraction. “No sensitive data has been compromised as of yet,” said Paul Parsons.

For several days, KRG phone lines and email inboxes remained unusable. “We had to use temporary emails to write our contacts, clients, providers etc. We had to stay connected one way or another. […] Now we are gradually returning to our usual email inboxes. It’s a long process, as we have to do this one employee at a time,” explains Paul Parsons.

He also says neither Nunavik police nor regional airports suffered any disruptions, as their computer systems are separate from those of the KRG. However, according to him, “it will take weeks, maybe months, to get back to normal.” Yet Paul Parsons sees this incident as an opportunity to thoroughly review the government’s cybersecurity protocols to prevent future intrusions.

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