Canadian government hacked by foreign attackers

Recent reports have surfaced about an attack that was able to access two key Canadian government departments, which may have lead to confidential information being stolen. The attacks happened last month, but as the CBC reports, the Canadian government has been quiet about the whole ordeal.

As the reports suggest, the attacks accessed the Finance Department and Treasury Board, where the hackers were able to gain control of at least one of the computers. The attacks were traced back to a Chinese server, but officials are still unclear if the hackers were actually Chinese or were simply routing through the server.

The Canadian government released a statement shortly after the attacks, claiming it was simply an "attempt to access" federal computers. However, a source confirms now that the hackers were successful in accessing the computers.

It's still unclear how much, or if any, information was stolen, or even if more departments were compromised. When the attacks were detected, Internet was immediately shut off to prevent further information from being uploaded back to the server. The attacks took place in a senior government executives office, in n attempt to steal passwords that would allow the hacker access to entire data systems.

Thanks to Simon for the tip!

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18 Comments

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See, this is MUCH better than the US's original plan of having an internet kill switch. Just do the smart thing like Canada, and isolate critical systems. Only the affected systems were cut off from the internet during intrusion. Everyone else in the country apparently stayed online with no problems. The kill switch is not necessary, just proper organization and system administration.

There is plenty of information to steal from Canada. A friend of a friend of mine works for CSIS, and I've heard enough about how much Canada actually deals with on behalf of the US in foreign markets.

_dandy_ said,
> the attacks accessed the Finance Department and Treasury Board,

I really wanna file my taxes online now...

I don't see Revenue Canada here...

TokyoKiller said,

I don't see Revenue Canada here...

...and you don't see any link between the Finance Department and Revenue Canada? They both work in a vacuum?

Not a big deal, with all the throttling going on in Canada, the guy woulda downloaded the government's informations at 15k/s, he woulda given up eventually...

Lachlan said,
love our way of dealing with hackers.. just turn off the internet.. I love canada
lolz because that will really help...

este said,
lolz because that will really help...

Actually that is the best firewall possible. Unplugged from the internet. All these federal and banking systems should really run on a private leased line VPN and off the internet.

nukenorman said,
If they can hack gov computers whats next will they be able to hack into major banks?

Contrary to the popular believe, government server and websites are the worst-

nukenorman said,
If they can hack gov computers whats next will they be able to hack into major banks?

AKO (Army Knowledge Online, https://www.us.army.mil) was rated one of the worst supposedly secure sites of 2010 in a magazine I read a couple months back.

StrykerMikado said,
And not a single f**k was given that day.

Most definitely.

Though, one must wonder what has Canada got worth stealing aside from oil and stuff ?

Is there not some mechanisms that a government can install to prevent hacking of "critical" infrastructure?

C'mon, ISP's all seem to be able to inspect packets and filter content accordingly ...

Maybe I'll go research this...