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Malware attack still affecting Powell River paper mill

Plans will be developed to restart paper-making activities, according to company
Powell River mill
Peak archive photo

Papermaking capacity at the Powell River mill is still compromised after a malware attack.

According to a media release from Paper Excellence Canada, on February 20, 2020, the company advised that its informational technology (IT) systems had been affected by malware.

The media release stated that the event impacted the company’s email capabilities and enterprise business systems that drive fulfillment of paper manufacturing at Crofton, Port Alberni and Powell River.

While pulp manufacturing continued unabated throughout the period, paper operations were curtailed as orders could not be planned and manufactured because of the systems interruption.

Since the initial report, the company’s IT experts, alongside third-party external advisors, have completed assessing the impact of the malware and are currently undertaking actions to secure the system and re-enable communications and networks, according to the release.

The incident has been reported to the RCMP.

The company has resumed papermaking operations at the Crofton facility, falling back on manual fulfillment techniques while the systems are being restored. Plans will be developed to restart papermaking activities at Port Alberni next week and Powell River beyond that once the manual fulfillment methodologies are proven out.