PEI’s finance minister has revealed that a ransomware incident that took place in late February has cost taxpayers in the province over $900,000.
Minister Darlene Compton explained to the legislature that the cost is divided into two parts – hardware upgrades for the government systems affected and offering free credit monitoring subscriptions for two years to residents whose information was stolen by the hackers responsible for the malware.
The minister added that the government alerted citizens of the malware, even reaching out to those affected.
“We were proactive in informing Islanders about the event,” Compton said. “We personally spoke to those directly affected once it was known that their data had been stolen.”
CBC News reported that the total cost of the cyber incident was $909,387.
The group of hackers claiming responsibility for the attack said that they stole 200GB of data from the provincial government. The group is infamous for humiliating victims until they pay the ransom, but the PEI government stated that it did not pay any ransom to the hackers.
Government officials claimed that the malware was active for 90 minutes before it was contained.
The investigation into the cyberattack is ongoing, and the government continues to provide updates to the privacy commissioner, CBC News said. Compton added that the RCMP has been notified, and will be involved in the investigation since the cyberattack is considered a “criminal action.”