Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

China denies role in Canada government hack

Finance department attack traced to Chinese server

Article comments

The Chinese government is denying any involvement in a reported cyberattack on the Canadian government, which was ultimately traced to a Chinese server.

The Chinese government is firmly opposed to hacking and other criminal acts, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said. China is also a victim of computer hacking, he said. "The allegation that China supports hacking is groundless," he said.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported Wednesday that authorities were forced to shut down Internet access to thousands of workers in the Canadian government's Finance Department and Treasury Board, after attackers "posing as the federal executives, sent emails to departmental technical staffers, conning them into providing key passwords unlocking access to government networks," the CBC said.

The purpose of the attack was apparently to steal documents that contained classified government information.

Victims were also tricked into opening maliciously encoded documents, using a well-known technique called spear-phishing. With spear-phishing, the attacker does some research ahead of time and then picks a small number of victims, sending them a believable looking document, a memo about an upcoming event, sent from a company executive for example, in the hopes that the victim will open this malicious attachment and their computer would be hacked.

The hacked computer is then used as a jumping-off point for computer-based espionage, as the hackers prowl through the victim's network in search of data.

This technique has been used successfully against US government agencies and contractors for years now, according to security experts. Many believe these spear-phishing attacks to be part of a concerted espionage effort by the Chinese government, but this is nearly impossible to prove. China is often used as a path for all types of cyberattacks and it is possible that the attacker in this latest incident simply routed traffic through Chinese servers.

The Canadian government learned it had been compromised in January, the CBC reported. The office of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper could not immediately be reached for comment.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *