Canada points finger at China in cyber-attack case

Thursday 31 July 2014 13:08 CET | News

Corinne Charette, Canada’s chief information officer, declared that a Chinese state-sponsored player is responsible for a recent data breach at the National Research Council of Canada.

The breach involved a cyber intrusion on the IT infrastructure of the council. The governments CIO further mentioned that since the detection and confirmation of the cyber intrusion, the National Research Councils networks have been isolated from the broader government of Canada network as a precautionary measure. The investigation is focused on Chinese IP addresses.

The intrusion was discovered through the work of the Communications Security Establishment, the Canadian agency focused on collecting foreign intelligence and protecting computer networks. The Council is currently working with IT experts and security partners to create a new secure IT infrastructure, but points out that the process could take around one year to complete.

The issue has been addresses at the highest levels in both Beijing and Ottawa and for security and confidentiality reasons, sensitive details about the cyber intrusion have not been released.

There have also been other incidents where China has been accused of hacking into governments and companies. For example, in May 2014, the US indicted five Chinese military officers for allegedly hacking into the computers of American companies to steal trade secrets, a release by online media outlet reveals. According to the same source, in July 2014, US officials conceded a potential intrusion of Office of Personnel Management computer systems, reportedly by Chinese hackers.

Commenting on the Canada-China issue, Tyler Shields, security analyst at Forrester Research, states that by calling out China as the source of the cyberattack, Canada is helping to continue building the case against China for cyber-espionage in the court of public opinion”. However, they do run the risk of increased attacks from both nation-states as well as rogue hacking teams by going public. According to him, this is a tricky proposition to point fingers unless you have irrefutable proof.

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

Keywords: Canada, China, Cyber-attack, cybersecurity, online fraud, data breach
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime

Industry Events