After cyber assault, Toronto Public Library expects lengthy recovery time

After a cyber assault late last month, the Toronto Public Library (TPL) said that services will be temporarily suspended until January.

In a Thursday update, the library explained that the restoration timeframe is “aggressive” because of how complicated the work is.

Restoring library services is expected to take many more weeks due to the complexity and breadth of the task involving TPL’s data center and computers across 100 library branches, as well as the interconnection of our systems, according to the statement.

TPL has also expressed regret for the trouble its customers have had due to the lengthy outage and promised that service restoration will begin gradually, beginning in January.

Several of TPL’s most important services, such as user accounts, map passes, public computers, and digital collections, have been inaccessible since the cyberattack.

Members of the Toronto Public Library Foundation and present and past staff members of TPL had their personal information exposed in a “large number of files” that were breached in the hack. This data dates all the way back to 1998.

There was no ransom paid, as the library stated before. “We are cognizant of the fact that information related to this incident that has been stolen may end up on the dark web.”

Assuring the public that its personnel have been working alongside cybersecurity specialists to restore compromised systems and strengthen network security, TPL acknowledged the scale of the attack in its latest report.

Many cyberattacks target institutions in the public sector, according to cybersecurity experts. Attackers with political agendas are probably behind these incidents, according to Brett Callow, a cybersecurity threat analyst with Emsisoft, who spoke with CBC News in April.

Associate professor Jason Jaskolka of Carleton University chimed in, saying, “In some cases, it’s really just a flex of muscle.”