VICTORIA -- RCMP cybercrime experts have launched an investigation into reports of malware targeting Vancouver Island pulp mills. 

On Thursday, officials with Paper Excellence Canada said its systems had been infiltrated by malware. The company is based out of the Lower Mainland and operates Catalyst pulp mills in Port Alberni, Crofton and Powell River. 

Malware is malicious software which is often deliberately placed on a computer system. Hackers sometimes use malware to extort money from companies. 

RCMP officials in Richmond tell CTV News that officers are investigating the case. 

Paper Excellence says it discovered the problem with its computers on Wednesday. 

“The event has impacted the company’s ability to utilize its communications as well as certain production capabilities,” said Paper Excellence spokesperson Graham Kissack.

According to the paper producer, production capabilities have been stalled and deliveries could be missed as a result.

External advisors are being called in to help the paper company deal with the problem. 

Paper Excellence has not responded to a request for an update on the involvement of the RCMP.