[BreachExchange] Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization hit by ransomware attack

Destry Winant destry at riskbasedsecurity.com
Mon Jun 1 10:33:36 EDT 2020


The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), an
intergovernmental organization that manages fish stocks in
international waters in the northwest Atlantic Ocean, has been hit by
a ransomware attack, according to the CBC News.

The organization, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, counts a
dozen countries as members, including Japan, Norway, Canada, the
European Union, and Russia. It disclosed the attack, which has locked
the organization out of its data systems and knocked its website
offline, in a 24 May note to stakeholders.

"The NAFO servers have been compromised by ransomware and are
currently unavailable,” wrote Lisa LeFort, senior executive assistant
to the executive secretary of NAFO. “The NAFO Secretariat is working
to resolve the issue. We will provide further details shortly.”

The timing of the attack is unfortunate, as the organization was
preparing to set total allowable catch limits before its annual
meeting in early June. The meeting was set to take place virtually
over a two-week period, and is still set to continue as planned,
according to LeFort’s note. However, the SC SharePoint system that
NAFO uses to easily share and edit documents will likely not be
available for members during the meeting, she said.

"As a result of the recent security attack on the NAFO servers, SC
SharePoint is still down with no certainty of it being restored before
the end of this week," LeFort wrote in the note. "We are working on an
alternative SharePoint to be hosted on an off-site server which we
hope will be up and running in time for the start of our meeting. I
hope I will have some positive news for you today, however, for the
time being, we will need to use email to distribute relevant

NAFO Scientific Information Administrator Dayna Bell MacCallum had no
additional comment when contacted by CBC.

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