Ca: RMOW says municipal website subject to security breach

Brandon Barrett reports:

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is reporting that its municipal website, whistler.ca, has been breached—but it assured the public that the situation has been resolved.


In a release sent Friday afternoon, the RMOW said that the breach, which was first discovered Dec. 28, appears to be an attempt to redirect web traffic to “different, and most likely, illicit websites.”


Read more on Pique.  The municipality posted the following notice on its site:

Publication Date: January 4, 2019


Cause of security breach has been found and resolved 


The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is informing members of the public that its municipal website, Whistler.ca, was subject to a recent security breach.


It appears the purpose of the attack was to re-direct people to different and, most likely, illicit websites. 


Municipal staff first became aware of the breach on Friday, December 28, 2018. Immediate action was taken to identify, contain and resolve the issue. On Thursday, January 3, 2019, staff became aware that personal information collected through forms on the website may also have been vulnerable. Action was quickly taken to remove the webforms and any associated personal information from the site. The entire site was then returned to an earlier, uncompromised version.  


Whistler.ca is now being scanned several times a day for malware to ensure it remains secure. As part of continuing to ensure the security of the website, a security audit will take place in the coming days.


The RMOW is taking steps to inform people whose personal information was stored on the website. While it does not appear the hackers were looking for personal data, some personal data was available on the site during the breach. There was no credit card information or social security numbers. Personal information from third-party sites such as parking ticket payments and home owner grants was not impacted. 
Municipal staff are directly calling or emailing as many people as possible who may be impacted so they can take any necessary action. 
 “The privacy of people’s personal information is a top priority for our organization,” said Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton. “Our current response reflects this commitment.”


The RMOW follows best practices to secure its site, and this has protected the website in the past from other attacks. 


Leading up to the security breach, the website was regularly scanned to ensure it was secure. The latest security patches have always been applied to the Whistler.ca content management system and server. The attack that led to this security breach exposed an obscure vulnerability that could not have been applied as part of the regular updates, patches and ongoing monitoring efforts.


If you are concerned about the possibility of your information being compromised, please contact Legislative Services at 604-935-8118 or [email protected]

Thanks to “Russy” for sending this in.

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