Canadian accounting firm MNP gets hit by cyberattack

Cyber incident disables firm, forcing a company-wide shutdown of computer systems

Canadian accounting firm MNP gets hit by cyberattack


By Lyle Adriano

MNP, a major accounting firm in Canada, has ordered a company-wide shutdown of its computer systems after it suffered a cyberattack.

In a statement, the firm said that after it discovered that a ransomware attack had taken place on April 05, 2020, it shut down its systems to prevent the malware from spreading to even more devices.

Employees with the firm told BleepingComputer that accountants were notified through text messages asking them to bring their laptops into the office to be secured before reconnecting the devices to the servers. The employees also confirmed that of the over 80 offices MNP has, most of them were kept offline as the investigation over the cyberattack continued. Accountants were asked to remain on standby to work once the systems were restored.

However, most of MNP’s offices remained closed for the week of April 17, 2020, BleepingComputer reported.

Accountants for MNP are salaried for 37.5 hours a week; hours they work beyond this number are banked as overtime that could be used for future time off. However, MNP deducted about 32 hours of banked overtime from affected employees following the cyberattack. One employee told BleepingComputer that that they were concerned that should their overtime go negative, they might end up owing the firm. Another said that they were “disgusted” by how MNP handled the situation and that it was unfair that their saved overtime would be used up due to the cyberattack.

MNP stated that it is still investigating whether data had been stolen. The perpetrators of the attack have also yet to claim credit for the incident or make ransom demands.

BleepingComputer reached out to MNP for more details about the attack, and for a comment on why employees’ saved overtime hours were being deducted. But the firm said that it would not be providing any more comment.

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