Ransomware attack impacted government services in the territory of Nunavut, Canada

Pierluigi Paganini November 05, 2019

A ransomware attack disrupted IT operations in the territory of Nunavut (Canada), all government services requiring access to electronic data were impacted.

A ransomware attack disrupted IT operations in the remote Canadian territory of Nunavut, all government services requiring access to electronic information were impacted. The territory is extended over more than 1.9 million square kilometers and has a population of around 36,000 people.

IT provincial government described the ransomware as a new threat and the infection as a sophisticated attack.

“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.” reads the alert published by the local government. “As a result, all government services requiring access to electronic information stored on the GN network are impacted, except Qulliq Energy Corporation.”

During the weekend employees were not able to access their government accounts.

“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.”

The CBC shared a copy of a ransom note that appears to be associated with the DoppelPaymer ransomware, a fork of BitPaymer Ransomware, that appeared in the threat landscape in July 2016.

“Your network has been penetrated,” reads the ransom note shared by CBC. “All files have been encrypted with a strong algorithm.”

“We exclusively have decryption software for your situation.”

The ransom note request victims to download an encrypted browser and visit a specified URL within 21 days, experts noticed that the note is written in broken English.

“After that period if you not get in contact link and the key for your data would be erased completely,”

Ransomware attacks continue to threaten organizations worldwide, just yesterday Everis firm and Spanish media company Cadena SER announced to have suffered a ransomware attack.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – Xhelper, malware)

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