July 18th, 2024

Toronto Public Library gradually recovering from hack, more services back in Feb

By The Canadian Press on January 19, 2024.

A person leaves a Toronto Public Library during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Friday, October 2, 2020. Canada's largest public library system says more of its services are gradually being restored after an October cyberattack that brought down its website and likely exposed sensitive employee information. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO – Canada’s largest public library system says more of its services are gradually being restored after an October cyberattack that brought down its website and likely exposed sensitive employee information.

The Toronto Public Library says customers will be able to see a familiar version of its website by the end of the month that will include more information on services and programs and easier access to digital resources, but it will not allow access to catalogue and search features and customer accounts.

It says about one million books and other materials that include returns and new items will be processed to be put back on its shelves by mid-February.

The library also says it reconnected more than 3,000 staff computers but it has not yet restored connection to about 2,000 public computers in its branches.

Returned books have been stored in 12 offsite trailers since the cyberattack on Oct. 28.

The library has previously said the attack has brought down its website and network of public computers across its 100 branches and likely exposed the names, social insurance numbers, government identification and addresses of employees dating back to 1998.

“As we work to restore our services, our top priorities remain the phased return of our website, catalogue and borrowing services, and public computing,” the library wrote in a Friday statement.

“The full and safe recovery of our services will take time, and we will continue to keep you updated regularly.”

The library has said it did not pay a ransom to the hackers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2024.

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