Canadian government investigating cyberattack on Global Affairs

Several federal departments and agencies are working together in response to a recent cyberattack on systems at Global Affairs Canada (GAC).

According to a CBC News report, the government said the “cyber incident” took place on January 19th, but was limited to GAC. Further, the government said there was no indication that other government departments were impacted.

“This investigation is ongoing. We are unable to comment further on any specific details for operational reasons,” read a government statement.

The statement goes on the specify that the Treasury Board Secretariat, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Shared Services Canada, the Communications Security Establishment and its Canadian Centre for Cyber Security are working to respond to the incident.

Although the federal government didn’t say which GAC systems were targeted or whether any damage was done, it did confirm the systems haven’t returned to normal use. Moreover, the government said that critical services are current;y functioning but that some “internet-based services are not currently available” due to mitigation measures.

The government didn’t say where the attack originated from or who might be responsible. Worse, a government source told CBC News that it may be days before a source can be identified due to the complexity of the attack. CBC News also notes that internal emails show Canadian missions abroad experienced electronic communications issues.

Finally, CBC News noted that the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security put out a bulletin warning of potential cyber threats, “including by Russian-backed actors to target Canadian critical infrastructure network operators, their operational and information technology.” The publication goes on to indicate the possibility of Russian cyberattacks related to rising tensions over Ukraine.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Source: CBC News

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