Foreign hackers breach Canadian government computers
Hackers traced to Chinese servers penetrated two Canadian economic offices, sources told the CBC.
February 17th, 2011
09:25 AM ET

Foreign hackers breach Canadian government computers

Hackers traced to China penetrated two key Canadian economic ministries, gaining access to highly classified information, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reports.

The hackers took over computers in the executive offices of the Finance Department and the Treasury Board, unnamed sources told the network. They then sent fake e-mails to government computer techs and other employees to get them to divulge sensitive passwords in a technique known as executive spear-phishing.

Canadian federal officials disabled the two departments' internet connections for a time to halt any loss of data, CBC reported.

It isn't clear whether other departments were breached or how much data was stolen. Government officials aren't talking about the attack, which occurred in January.

The source of the hack was traced to servers in China, but that doesn't mean the hackers were Chinese, the sources told CBC. They could have routed their paths through China to hide their identities, the sources said.

The pattern of the attack mirrors the GhostNet blitz that  hacked 100 other governments in March, according to the tech publication The Register.

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Filed under: Canada • Crime • Espionage • Security breaches • Technology
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. nothing

    you got to watch for those hackers that use macs!!!!

    February 17, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rodja

    Could it be aliens? Start the Invasion Revolution, baby!!!

    February 17, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. Seraphim0

    MissingThePoint- If you think your little ratio is any different in other countries... good luck. Same BS, different wrapper. As to your description of most people online- I think you've actually either incredibly behind the times or just deluded. Internet saturation into the general public is insanely high. You have just as much of a chance commenting on CNN to a working professional as commenting to someone on unemployment.

    As far as your opinion on how to deal with China... your lack of understanding geopolitics is almost as shocking as Trump's. Then again, maybe not.

    February 17, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. MarkyMarx

    Ahh there goes Cesar defending communist regimes again.. Lol Communism is so great that people literally take all they can carry and run for the nearest country with freedoms. My grandmother is old world Ukrainian and her parents ran from the murderous and oppressive Stalin, so they could give their family a better life. Cesar touts human rights abuses when it's an American at fault, but ignores China's lack of a free press, or the MILLIONS killed during the rise of communism. Basically communism is for people who can't compete with other people for success, because they lack gray matter or motivation. Is that what you're saying Cesar? You can't compete with others, so you want them brought down to your level? Maybe if you got your &$$ off the computer chair and got a job or schooling them maybe you'd like a bit of coin in your pocket? Nah sitting on your rear and crying about it is much more productive. Lmao you're a joke buddy.

    February 17, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. MissingThePoint

    @seraphim: ok keep telling yourself that. Haha. At least I try to see the other side of the coin. A global economy is fine, but the same people who blast Wal-mart for selling foreign goods will then defend China's role in a global economy. You can't have it both ways. Wal-Mart is either evil, or they are just an innocent player in a global economy and a way of giving Chinese people a job. Which one? Lol can't wait to hear your answer. Last time I checked Trump was in an enviable financial position. One that if any of you were in would talk about how great capitalism is. You're not fooling anyone. Well time to go to WORK and SCHOOL so I can BETTER MYSELF. 🙂

    February 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    Hmmm, I wonder if Microsoft(tm) engineered the same back-door in their operating system for the Canadian gov. that they did for ours. You know, the one Apple refused to design, and why it is we most all have PCs instead of Apples.

    February 17, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    And if memory serves, it was a Canadian professor who first dicovered Microsoft's 'NSA key' some 15 yrs ago. (dare ya to google it)

    February 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dazzaisdazzling-im on youtube!!!!!Check Me Out

    Im doin this for my current event!!! P.S CHECK ME OUT ON YOUTUBE MY USERNAME IS dazzaisazzling!!!

    February 17, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dumpdirt

    Broncos 94 that is some funny s:):)t LMAO Is stupid contagious because if It is im in trouble from reading this garbage. I know STUFF :P:P:P:P

    February 17, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dumpdirt

    Central America.......bwahahaha. Now I can check Central America of my bucket list 🙂

    February 17, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Go figure

    China is at war with the West. They smile in our faces while stabbing us.

    February 17, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    China, Russia, blah blah blah. They run 2,000 bit security encryption. YOU don't. That's the difference between who gets hacked and who doesn't. get a clue...all of ya.

    February 17, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JD

    And so beging the irreversable decent into computer caused chaos! Run for the hills, just not my hills, and save your selves.

    February 17, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. izzy

    canada should take a lesson from Blizzard's (game company) playbook....'a canadian offical will never ask for your password' i mean if they really wanted something they can get it without having to ask for YOU to send it. and apparently some people on these blogs can not read jokes/sarcasm and have to write long responses about 'haha americans are stupid lol'. there are better ways....DONT FEED THE TROLLS!!!!

    February 18, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mike

    If you think that the chinese had nothing to do with this, talk about being an arrogant American. It's a fact that china has been doing this for a long time. why is it that they have the most powerful military in the world. NOBODY spends more on the army than the Chinese. Now I question why Canada, their people pay more in taxes than most people in the western world. Canadian gov't themselves seem intent to listen to the Chinese,Americans, and anyone else rather than listen to the Canadian people.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
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