12/18/2014 04:23 EST | Updated 02/17/2015 05:59 EST

Computer virus infects B.C. government email servers

VICTORIA - A computer virus has forced the British Columbia government to shut down its email system, cutting off the information flow for much of the day.

A statement from the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services says a computer virus caused by a malicious file attachment infected the government's email servers Thursday morning.

Ministry information officer Bette-Jo Hughes says in a statement that out of precaution government email servers are temporarily disabled while work is done to resolve the issue.

She says protection of government data and networks are a top priority and immediate action was taken to reduce exposure to the government network and prevent loss of information.

The statement — which was hand delivered to the media in the legislature's press gallery — doesn't provide information about the identity of the malicious file attachment.

Hughes says they're working to restore the service as quickly as possible.