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Experts probe cyberattack on Town of Huntsville

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Three days after it was the target of a cyberattack, the Town of Huntsville has begun restoring some of its services.

Huntsville's Town Hall reopened on Wednesday in a limited capacity after a cyberattack rocked the municipality on Sunday. Staff were forced to close the doors to municipal buildings on Monday and Tuesday amid the disruption to the Town's internal network.

"We are doing everything we can for what our protocol tells us what to do in this kind of incident," said Huntsville Mayor Nancy Alcock. "On Tuesday, we began bringing some of those servers, [and] I.T. programs back online."

A team of experts has been called in to investigate how the online attack happened and the extent of it.

So far, no evidence suggests any sensitive data, including personal information, had been compromised.

"Part of that ongoing investigation is to determine and confirm what kind of data has been compromised," the mayor added.

Huntsville is the latest municipality to suffer a cyber attack in recent weeks.

Last week, the City of Hamilton said it was working with experts to restore its systems after a cyberattack on February 25.

In Toronto, the Public Library and the City's Zoo are still trying to recover from attacks in October and January that exposed sensitive employee information.

"We've seen attacks against communications systems, the energy sector, logistics, you name it. They are being attacked right now across the private and public sector, and the pace is increasing," said Charles Finlay, executive director of Toronto Metropolitan University's Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst.

Finlay said the frequency of attacks against municipalities has increased over the last several years.

He urged all municipalities to establish a plan to respond to a cyber crisis and said it's not a matter of if but when an attack will happen.

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario has also asked members to expand their emergency preparedness planning to include cybersecurity protocols.

Meanwhile, Huntsville officials said more time is needed to determine how long a full recovery will take.

March break camps and scheduled programming will continue this week at the Canada Summit Centre, the Algonquin Theatre and the library.

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