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Quebec closes nearly 4,000 government websites due to security breach

Quebec closes 3,992 government websites in response to a security vulnerability that was brought to light on Friday, December 10, the minister responsible for the digital transformation of the government of Quebec, Eric Caire, announced on Sunday.

The vulnerability resides in the Apache web server and has affected online entities around the world, according to Cairo. He said the flaw would have allowed an attacker to infiltrate a server and possibly take control with the help of malware.

The minister authorized the shutdown of government websites in light of the “large number of systems” that now need to be “reviewed” and the critical nature of the security breach, his office said in a statement. Press release.

Cairo stressed at a press conference that there is “no indication that we have been the subject of a successful attack.” He called the decision to shut down government websites “preventive” and not “reactive”.

The 3,992 affected sites cover public administration, education and health networks, according to the minister.

While the Quebec.ca site – which, according to the Cairo office, hosts “the vast majority” of government information intended for the public – is back up and running after the patches come into effect on Friday, other sites will not return. line only after being scanned and their vulnerabilities, if any, are corrected.

“We take the discovery of this security breach very seriously and have been in action since Friday to secure all of our information assets,” Cairo said in a statement.

“Everything is being done to limit the consequences of these closures for citizens and we will not compromise the security of our assets and the data of Quebecers.