Cyber attack left Alberta Energy Regulator offline
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Cyber attack left Alberta Energy Regulator offline

A cyber threat left the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) offline for two days in December and all its employees were sent home as its information technology department dealt with the issue.

Hackers have been at the forefront of Service Alberta's mind this week after an online attack shut down the Saskatchewan government's website and affected government emails. 

Minister Stephanie McLean said Monday Alberta government computer systems are safe from such attacks, but arm's-length bodies like the Alberta Energy Regulator are responsible for their own security. 

The regulator oversees Alberta's energy industry, including bitumen, crude, natural gas and coal, makes decisions around proposed energy developments, inspects sites and penalizes companies that run afoul of the law.

Spokeswoman Cassie Naas confirmed there was a malware threat at the agency on Dec. 7.

Operations were shut down until Dec. 10, with staff told to stay home and not access any computer work systems until the problem was fixed.

Naas said the regulator was still able to respond to emergencies.

The good news is the regulator's systems weren't breached in the incident, and security was upped as a result.

In a statement, McLean said Service Alberta has a monthly security forum for agencies, boards and commissions to discuss cyber-security issues, and offers cyber-security help and expertise to keep systems secure.

egraney@postmedia.com

twitter.com/EmmaLGraney

source : Calgary SUN
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