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Ransomware attempt caused statewide Arvig outage

The company said internet service was restored by Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 25.

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Contributed / Arvig Business / Facebook
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PARK RAPIDS, Minn. — An attempted ransomware attack against a Minnesota internet provider led to statewide service outage on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

Perham, Minnesota-based Arvig on Tuesday afternoon announced that services had been restored, and advised customers to try rebooting their equipment if they were still experiencing connectivity issues. The company also apologized for the frustrations caused by the interruption of service.

Previously, Arvig reported a statewide internet outage affecting their customers across Minnesota, beginning around 7 a.m. Tuesday, and began posting progress updates on social media.

Lisa Greene, director of marketing and public relations with Arvig, said Wednesday that approximately 60,000 customer accounts were affected by the outage.

Greene explained that the outage occurred after a failed attempt at a ransomware attack. “When they got frustrated, they shut down our system,” she said, noting that it took three-and-a-half hours to restore services.

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“The team really worked well to get customer services back online as quickly as possible,” said Greene.

As for preventing similar attacks in the future, she said, “The layers of protection that we’ve been putting in place, from a cybersecurity perspective, have been really important and really played a very positive role here, in the fact that they weren’t able to accomplish what they set out to do.

“At this point, we don’t believe that any customer or employee data was obtained. We have hired a third-party investigator to help us ensure that that is indeed the case, but at this point there is no reason to believe there is any threat from that perspective at all.”

Related Topics: ARVIGINTERNET
Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at rfish@parkrapidsenterprise.com or 218-252-3053.
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