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Cyber-attack on VCH Employee and Family Assistance Computer Systems


Vancouver, BC – On May 21, data stored on the computer systems supporting Vancouver Coastal Health's (VCH) Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) were encrypted by ransomware, a form of malicious software. VCH immediately activated its cyber-attack response, engaged external cybersecurity experts to help conduct a comprehensive investigation, and reported the incident to the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner.

The investigation of this cyber-attack is now complete and there is no evidence any data has been removed or misused from EFAP computers. The last five years of the client database has been fully restored up to February 2020 – partial client data has been restored from March to May 2020.

At the time of the attack, the EFAP computer systems were kept separate from the VCH network and maintained by an independent Information Technology services provider for privacy and confidentiality. VCH has since brought the EFAP computer systems into the VCH Information Management and Information Technology network for ongoing oversight and security protection.

VCH is reaching out to clients who used EFAP services between 2015 and 2020 to make them aware of the cyber-attack and offer free credit monitoring services as an additional precautionary measure. To support these clients, information is available at

The Employee and Family Assistance Program provides a suite of confidential counselling, wellness and related services to employees and family members of participating health organizations.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is responsible for the delivery of $3.6 billion in community, hospital and long-term care to more than one million people in communities including Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola. VCH also provides specialized care and services for people throughout B.C., and is the province's hub of health care education and research.


Catherine Loiacono
Director of Public Affairs and Stakeholder Relations
Vancouver Coastal Health
Phone 604 708 5312 | Cell 604 313 5645
After-Hours: 604 202 2012

SOURCE: Cyber-attack on VCH Employee and Family Assistance Computer Systems ( )
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