The president of London Drugs does not know why the cyber attackers attacked

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The chairman of London Drugs says he doesn’t know why the company was subject to a cyberattack that forced it to close its stores for more than a week, but hackers using sophisticated methods are “constantly looking for weaknesses” in online systems.

Clint Mahlman says the Richmond-based pharmacy and retailer had been preparing for such a situation for years and closed immediately after the cybersecurity breach was discovered on April 28 to contain the threat.

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Since then, he says, London Drugs has been working with cybersecurity experts to “methodically review all systems” and bring them securely back online.

Mahlman says he is not aware of whether the breach could be related to Premier David Eby’s announcement Wednesday night that the province had detected “sophisticated cybersecurity incidents” involving government networks.

It also says it would not share “details of any interactions with threat actors.”

Mahlman says he regrets that the company was not able to reveal more details in the days after the incident, but he does not want to give the attackers any leverage.

“Cybersecurity experts deal with these people all the time, and as such, they see certain behaviors from certain threat actors,” he said in an interview Thursday.

Mahlman said hackers look at media reports about cyberattacks and assess whether the company is aware of the scope of the breach and its ability to recover.

“They use that information to sustain their attack or take advantage in some way against the company.”

London Drugs won’t knowingly give hackers that advantage, Mahlman says.

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“We apologize to the media and our customers for not being able to give them more details than they wanted, but that is our commitment to the security of our systems and our customers.”

London Drugs said Tuesday that its 79 stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba had reopened.

In the British Columbia government incidents, Eby said provincial authorities were working with the Canadian Cyber ​​Security Center and other agencies to determine the scope of the problem, but there was currently no evidence that sensitive information had been compromised.

He said the investigation was ongoing and more work needed to be done to determine what information may have been accessed.

—By Brenna Owen in Vancouver

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