College of Nurses computers hit by hackers
October 7, 2020
TORONTO – The College of Nurses of Ontario says it was hacked earlier in September and was the victim of a ransomware attack. Subsequently, the organization was trying to figure out if the personal information of its 300 employees and 195,500 members was compromised.
“We are aware of a claim on the dark web regarding data theft from CNO,” the nursing regulatory body told CBC News.
“While we are not able to confirm at this time, through a comprehensive forensic investigation, CNO is seeking to determine whether personal information was compromised as result of the incident that may require notification to individuals. Although CNO was affected by ransomware, the organization is implementing a range of approaches to resume operations safely and securely, including restoring from backups.”
Hackers have posted some of the information they claim to have obtained online, including folders marked “Human Resources” and “Human Rights Matters.” Among the information posted are photos of small claims and Superior Court settlements, which include the full names, addresses and phone numbers of people.
Meanwhile, on its website, the College of Nurses of Ontario said it has made progress in resuming normal operations.
“Many of our internal systems and processes are now functioning, and we are doing our best to ensure important functions and online services, including the public register Find a Nurse, the nurse renewal portal Maintain your Membership, and the applicant portal are available on CNO.org as soon as possible.”
With internal systems now functioning, CNO staff are prioritizing efforts to clear a backlog of requests to verify member credentials for the purpose of employment. Throughout the pandemic, CNO has focused on ensuring Ontario’s healthcare system has the nurses it needs, and we are working hard to ensure those efforts remain a priority despite our current technology challenges.
The CNO team is working hard to restore all services and to ensure the data in our care is protected. We are very grateful for the helpful outreach we have received from members and the understanding and support we have received from nurses, the public and our colleagues in healthcare.