London Drugs phone lines working, stores remain closed in wake of cyberattack

By Hana Mae Nassar, Charles Brockman

London Drugs says their phone lines are working again despite all their stores remaining closed.

The Canadian store and pharmacy chains locations remained shut down for a fourth day in a row in western Canada, after a cyberattack was reported over the weekend.

Customers who need assistance are being told to call their local store, or pharmacy, for the time being. If customer needs are urgent, people can visit their local store in person during business hours.

The company says pharmacists are on-site during business hours and Canada Post offices inside their stores are fully operational.

London Drugs told CityNews Wednesday it had no updates as to reopening estimates, resharing a previous statement.

“London Drugs is currently working with leading third-party cybersecurity experts to bring our operations back online in a safe and secure manner,” the retailer said Wednesday.

“Our investigation is currently assessing the extent to which any data has been compromised in the incident. In the event our investigation determines that personal information was impacted, we will notify affected individuals in accordance with privacy laws.”

London Drugs stores in the west have been closed since Sunday morning.

Few details have been provided as to what exactly the cyberattack entailed. One cybersecurity expert said the company could have been facing several threats but suspected the most likely scenario was a ransomware attack — where the victim is blocked from critical data until a ransom is paid.

Another expert told CityNews Tuesday there are distinct phases in incident response: identifying the threat, finding ways to isolate and eradicate the threat, and then, recovery.

“Recognizing the impact these closures have had on our customers and employees across Western Canada, it remains our priority to continue working around the clock to have all stores fully operational,” London Drugs COO and President Clint Mahlman said Wednesday. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and support during this very difficult time and will provide updates as available.”

The company notes pharmacy staff are on-site at all locations to support those who have urgent pharmacy needs. Customers are advised to visit their local London Drugs during business hours to get support.

-With files from Sonia Aslam

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