Update: Services being restored – City of Kingston investigating after disruption of online, network services

Kingstonist file photo.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated since it was originally published on Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2024, at 3:42 p.m. Please see bottom of article for most recently updated information.

The City of Kingston’s online and network services have been suddenly disrupted, officials with City Hall confirmed on the afternoon of Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2024.

At approximately 2:30 p.m., the City of Kingston website stopped loading for outside users. Emails to the City’s communications teams approximately 15 minutes later went unanswered, however, when reached by phone, a member of the communications team confirmed a disruption of the City’s online and network services.

The disruption includes all of the City of Kingston’s platforms, including the DASH platform on development and services and the Get Involved platform for public engagement. It also includes the City’s payment services and email services.

“The City is aware of reports that certain users are unable to access City web services including CityofKingston.ca, GetInvolvedKingston.ca, the MyCity app, email and online payments. Please call Customer Experience (613-546-0000) for assistance with submitting service requests,” the City wrote on its social media accounts at approximately 3:15 p.m.

“We are working to resolve the issue and will report back when we have an estimated time of restoration.”

Despite cyberattacks recently in the municipalities of Greater Napanee, as Kingstonist reported on earlier here, and Hamilton, the City of Kingston could not confirm whether a cyberattack is behind the current service outage, noting its teams are currently “investigating” and due to the very early stages of the investigation, they could neither rule out nor confirm any causes.

This is a developing story. Kingstonist will provide updated coverage as more information becomes available.

Update (Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2024, at 4:40 p.m.):
It appears the City of Kingston website is back online as usual, and email accounts associated with the City of Kingston domain are sending and receiving email once again.

Kingstonist has not been able to to confirm at this time that online and network services have been fully restored. This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

Update (Thursday, Mar. 7, 2024, at 10:05 a.m.):
The City of Kingston has now confirmed that a cyberattack was not behind the disruption of the City’s online and network services.

The services suddenly stopped around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2024, with the City of Kingston’s website, email service, payment services, and a number of platforms going dormant. The City confirmed the service disruption about 45 minutes later, indicating they were investigating the cause of the issues. By 4:35 p.m. the same day, the City’s website and email services were operational again, but service disruptions — and the investigation into them — continued.

One the morning of Thursday, Mar. 7, 2024, the City of Kingston informed Kingstonist that services are being restored.

“The disruption was due to technical issues with one of our providers, and not the result of a cyberattack,” the City of Kingston’s communications team relayed.

Due to recent cyberattacks on Ontario municipalities (see above), the City wanted to ensure the public is aware that a cyberattack is not behind the incident in Kingston. The City is expected to issue an update to the community on this matter later in the day. Kingstonist will provide further coverage as more information becomes available.

Update (Thursday, Mar. 7, 2024, at 1:30 p.m.):
On the afternoon of Thursday, Mar. 7, 2024, the City of Kingston released the following statement:

After an extensive investigation, the City of Kingston has determined that Wednesday’s service disruption, which affected CityofKingston.ca and several dependant services, originated with a third-party network service provider and was not caused by a cyber attack. 

Access to most core services has been restored and the website is functioning normally again. 

CityofKingston.ca, as well as several services that use the website including the City’s payment and booking systems, public engagement website and online contact services, were unavailable for approximately two hours on Wednesday, March 6. During this time users were unable to access the City website, follow up on service requests, book lessons or facilities, or process payments, these services are now accessible.

The outage was identified around 2:45 p.m. and by 4:30 p.m. access to core services had started returning. The City continues to work with our network provider to restore remaining access and we thank the community for your patience yesterday.

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