A medical clinic in southern Manitoba was the victim of a ransomware attack last week forcing it to shut down its computers and close its doors.

According to information provided by administrators at the Altona Clinic, the attack occurred on Friday, February 26.

At this time, clinic officials say they cannot confirm whether patient information has been compromised. However, two separate IT specialists have advised, based on a number of factors, this is unlikely, and the purpose of the attack was most likely to lock the information rather than to access the patient records.

The attack has been reported to the authorities, and IT specialists are working to re-establish networks and re-obtain access to its patient information. The clinic's computers had the recommended security programs in place which included an up-to-date firewall and antivirus software, according to the statement. 

Clinic officials report information on visits that occurred on Thursday, February 25 was lost as a result of the attack, and they are asking patients who had visits scheduled for that day to call the clinic and book a return appointment.

"We want to assure our patients that Altona Clinic takes the storage of your health information very seriously, and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that this has caused," stated the release.

The facility is expected to re-open Wednesday, March 3.

The news release indicated further updates will be provided in the event more information becomes available.


Written by Dean Penner