Canadian Govt. Hit by Cyber Attacks

Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 07:02 AM gHale

Cyber attacks continue as the Canadian government suffered an attack from Chinese-based computers last month that penetrated two key economic ministries, according to reports.

The hackers broke into computer systems at the Finance Department and Treasury Board, according to sources cited at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC). Once they detected the attack, officials cut off Internet access in both ministries.

The Finance Department is preparing the federal budget for delivery next month.

The CBC said the hackers took control of computers in the offices of senior government executives as part of a scheme to steal the passwords that unlock entire government data systems.

A spokesman for Treasury Board Minister Stockwell Day said officials had detected an unauthorized attempt to access the ministry’s computer networks.

“There are no indications that any data relating to Canadians was compromised,” he said in an email. He did not say whether the attacks traced back to Chinese servers, as the CBC reported.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said there was no link to China for hacking.

“What you mentioned is purely fictitious and has an ulterior motive,” he told a regular news briefing in Beijing when asked about the accusations.

“China attaches great importance to computer security and consistently opposes and cracks down on hacking activities according to relative laws and regulations,” Ma added. “Hacking is an international problem and China is affected also.”

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