Computer security flaw forced 4-day shutdown of online government services

Dozens of online government services were shut down for four days in March after the province discovered a gap in its computer security system.

Thirty-one services — including both those used by the public and internal ones used by Manitoba government employees — were taken offline from March 13 to March 17, a provincial spokesperson said Wednesday.

It is still unclear how long the system was left vulnerable to hackers.

An "abundance of caution" prompted the government to ask an outside company to review all affected computer systems, the spokesperson said.

The independent review found no evidence of "unauthorized access to sensitive information."

Manitoba says it is now taking steps to strengthen security of government online systems.

A report last month by the province's auditor general expressed concern about the government's failure to make recommended improvements to computer system security.

Numerous recommendations made by the auditor general's office four years ago still have not been implemented, including a high-priority assessment of information technology security risks.

Business Transformation and Technology, a government unit, oversees most of the province's information technology security management.

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