Management of Rogers failure is a ‘disaster’

The exact cause of the major outage at Rogers that upended Canada’s digital network was still unknown as of Saturday, a glaring lack of transparency experts denounced.

• Also read: General Outage: The Rogers network has been restored for the majority of customers

• Also read: The failure at Rogers has complicated shopping across the country

“They make up 25% of Internet traffic in Canada, and 24 hours later we can’t say why those systems were offline,” laments Luc Lefebvre, co-founder of Crypto.Québec, an organization specializing in computer security. It’s a communications disaster. »

On Saturday morning, Rogers reported that connectivity had been restored for the vast majority of its subscribers.

Services like Interac and ArrivCan were paralyzed for almost 24 hours.

And as Le Journal reported on Saturday, that upheaval has forced businesses, in this case at least one Tim Hortons in Montreal, to offer products and services for free since consumers couldn’t pay with their debit cards.


Central Market Tim Horton's manager Inderpal Singh (left) and his associate Jasmandeep Singh donated several products as they were unable to offer direct debit payment.

Photo Nora T Lamontagne

Central Market Tim Horton’s manager Inderpal Singh (left) and his associate Jasmandeep Singh donated several products as they were unable to offer direct debit payment.

A cyber attack?

The exact cause of the failure remained unknown on Saturday.

“Identify the best experts. I think at this point it’s wise not to do that [exclure la possibilité d’une cyberattaque] declared the Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne.

One of the main theories circulating is that the system that mediates between platforms such as the corporate server and Interac is affected. At least that is Luc Lefebvre’s analysis.

“Currently, there aren’t many people in large companies that have experts managing these protocols […]. And sometimes someone makes updates that can cause catastrophic failures,” he says.

Regardless of the cause of the problem, the big players in the telecom industry need to be more proactive in such situations, say the experts surveyed.

Zero crisis management

“We call it crisis management. We have to develop scenarios B and C in case our regular plan doesn’t work,” says Bruno Guglielminetti, specialist in digital communication.

This mess can even pose significant security issues.

“There are people for whom this can be dangerous, problematic situations. If it’s systems like 911 […]we can ask ourselves questions,” adds the expert.

Rogers, which has 11.2 million mobile subscribers, did not respond to our interview request.


Rogers chairman Tony Staffieri said he was sorry on Friday.

Archive photo

Rogers chairman Tony Staffieri said he was sorry on Friday.

“We fell short today,” Chairman Tony Staffieri wrote on Friday.

– With the agency QMI

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