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Pearson Airport warns of possible delays as Toronto hit by global IT issue

Air travel and some hospital operations in Toronto interrupted by a worldwide IT issue on Friday are beginning to return to normal after the outage disrupted multiple industries, including major banks and media outlets.

Porter Airlines, which cancelled flights until 3 p.m. Friday, says it is now in the “early stages” of resuming normal services.

“Operations are restarting after today’s third-party system outage affecting multiple global industries. As systems come online, passengers may check their current flight status on or via our mobile app,” the airline said at 2:30 p.m. You can find more information here.

Porter wasn’t the the only airline affected. 

A spokesperson from Toronto’s Pearson Airport told CBC News the impacts varied “airline to airline,” with Air Canada, Westjet, Sunwing and Flair’s flights on track. Several American carriers saw disruptions, however.

“Some international arrivals are advising of delays this evening. Be sure to check the flight status of both arriving and departing flights before heading to the airport,” Pearson said in a statement.

WATCH | How the IT disruption is affecting devices: 

How the IT outage is affecting devices using Crowdstrike

11 hours ago

Duration 3:59

Canadians are waking up to a global tech outage disrupting operations in multiple industries. Cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike’s Falcon Sensor software is causing Microsoft Windows to crash and display a blue error screen. Cybersecurity and tech analyst Ritesh Kotak explains how the outage is impacting devices subscribed to Crowdstrike and what mitigation actions Microsoft might be taking.

The University Health Network (UHN), which runs a number of hospitals in the city, confirmed it had to deal with challenges. 

“Clinical activity is continuing as scheduled, but some patients may experience delays,” it said in a statement.

Later on Friday, UHN said: “We are returning to regular operation after the global IT outage. No additional delays to patient appointments are expected. Thank you for your understanding.”

Transit, emergency services working as they should

Toronto’s 911 and paramedic services are working as they should, and the TTC said its signal and safety systems are fully operational. If anything changes, the transit agency said it will let riders know. 

Similarly, Metrolinx said its trains and buses are running normally.

Passengers at Billy Bishop airport in downtown Toronto after all morning flights were cancelled Friday.
Passengers at Billy Bishop airport in downtown Toronto after flights were cancelled until Friday afternoon. (Jérémie Bergeron/CBC)

So what caused the problems? According to an alert sent by global cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike to its clients and reviewed by Reuters, the company’s Falcon Sensor software is causing Microsoft Windows to crash and display a blue screen, known informally as the “blue screen of death.”

When will it be fixed? CrowdStrike’s CEO said on X, formerly Twitter, the issue has been “identified, isolated and a fix has been deployed” but it’s unclear how long that will take. 

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