Nunavut power utility’s servers hit by cyber attack

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The territorial utility that provides power to Nunavut is yet to say whether customer data was copied after a cyberattack earlier this week.

The firm said on Thursday that Kullik Energy Corporation (QEC) had been targeted in a cyberattack over the past weekend. “QEC’s network was breached, and the corporation took immediate action to control the situation.”

External cyber security experts are working with QEC IT teams and Nunavut Government teams to investigate the cause and scope of the attack.

“As soon as we became aware that there was a potential problem, we activated our crisis response plan to bring the situation under control,” Rick Hunt, the utility’s CEO, said in a statement. “Our focus is on returning to normal operations, determining what information may be affected, all the while doing our best to serve our customers.”

The power of the customers was not disrupted. But they are being warned to regularly watch their bank and credit card accounts for unusual activity. They are also being asked to consider changing personal passwords for sensitive applications such as email and online banking. Strong passwords are usually long and contain a mixture of upper-case and lower-case letters with numbers and special characters, customers were reminded.

according to cbcCustomers can pay utility bills using cash in person in Iqaluit or Baker Lake, through local banks in Northern or Co-op stores and all communities, and by bank transfer through telephone or Internet banking services . But credit card payments cannot be accepted in person or through telephone banking.

The utility provides electricity to approximately 15,000 electricity customers across 2 million km². Through stand-alone diesel power plants in 25 communities in Canada’s Far North.

Premier PJ Akigoke said the government was actively assisting Kullik Energy Corporation in its response to the attack.

“These types of attacks are criminal,” he said in a statement. “Expert cyber security and legal advice has been retained and the RCMP is assisting QEC with its ongoing investigation. The Corporation is following best practices and taking the utmost care to protect the personal information of QEC’s customers. “

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