Weather app down, emergency alerts active after ‘malicious cyberattack’

MétéoMédia and MétéoMédia still cannot send weather alerts via push notifications from their app following a “malicious cyberattack” on Monday.

But Pelmorex, the parent company of the two weather services, says the attack does not affect the Alert Ready system it runs to send emergency notifications to cellphones when dangerous weather conditions are imminent.

The September 11 attack took down at least part of The Weather Network, and both websites still do not provide complete weather data four days later.

The sites have restored current temperature and forecast data, but other information, such as whether the weather is sunny, cloudy or rainy at the moment, is missing.

Karen Kheder, Pelmorex’s communications director, says the attack also prevents the company from sending its own weather alerts via push notifications to app users.

However, she says the On Alert system, which Pelmorex manages for the federal and provincial governments, uses a separate technical infrastructure and that alerts are sent without any problems.

On Alert issues emergency warnings to mobile phones, as well as radio and television stations, when a tornado or major thunderstorm is imminent.

“Pelmorex Corp. is working around the clock to restore our services to Canadians after suffering a recent malicious cyberattack,” Kheder said in a written statement sent to The Canadian Press.

“This cyberattack only affected the weather data systems of MétéoMédia and MétéoMédia. Some services are already operational and Canadians can also expect continued restoration of more weather services and information.

Pelmorex said earlier this week that the attack was a “cybersecurity incident linked to a third-party software vendor,” but did not provide further explanation about it, including the name of that vendor or the type of software. ‘attack.

Pelmorex said it had alerted the relevant authorities of the attack.

A statement released Thursday by the office of Civil Protection Minister Harjit Sajjan said the government was aware of the cybersecurity attack and that On Alert was not affected.

“Pelmorex confirms that on-alert capabilities are currently unaffected and continue to operate as planned,” the statement said.

The Pelmorex attack is the latest in a series of cybersecurity incidents that have hit Canadian businesses, departments and government agencies in recent years.

In February, book retailer Indigo was hit by an attack that cost it millions of dollars in lost sales because it was unable to process debit and credit card transactions for several days and did not couldn’t sell anything on his website for weeks.

In April, Russian hackers claimed credit for launching an attack on a number of Canadian agencies, including the Prime Minister’s Office, the Port of Halifax and Pearson International Airport.

In 2021, Rideau Hall was hit by a “sophisticated cyber incident” that allowed someone to gain unauthorized access to Rideau Hall’s internal computer systems.

Last month, a report released by the Canadian Center for Cyber ​​Security warned that organized cybercrime, primarily based in Russia and to a lesser extent in Iran, “would very likely pose a threat to Canada’s national security and economic prosperity in the over the next two years.”

“We estimate that over the next two years, financially motivated cybercriminals will almost certainly continue to target high-value organizations in critical infrastructure sectors in Canada and around the world,” the center’s website states.

The government has tabled a bill in the House of Commons that would require certain banking and telecommunications companies to improve their cybersecurity, but the bill is awaiting review by the national security committee.



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