#CyberFLASH: CSIS can’t keep up with ‘daily’ state-sponsored cyber attacks

steven-blaney.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxOTTAWA—Canada’s spies admit they can’t keep up with daily cyber attacks from state-sponsored hackers, according to an internal report obtained by the Star.

A heavily censored “threat overview” prepared by CSIS last September stated hostile “state-sponsored” hackers are targeting everything from political positions and trade strategies to commercial data and personal information.

“Hostile state-sponsored actors (are targeting) Canadian public and private computer networks daily to advance their economic, military, (and) political agendas,” reads the report, prepared for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney’s office.

“Offensive cyber operations (are) employed with more traditional methods in support of strategic and economic objectives.”

A separate overview of CSIS operations, also prepared for Blaney and obtained under Access to Information law, stated CSIS is being overwhelmed by the sheer number of attacks. CSIS reported the “scale of the threat has fast outpaced (their) capacity,” and the agency has been required to “prioritize” their efforts.

That document rates cyber security as an “operational pressure,” along with terrorist travel.

Ottawa recently named China as the state sponsor behind a 2014 hack of the National Research Council’s network — an attack that CSIS and Canada’s electronic spy agency, the Communications Security Establishment, monitored for some time before quarantining the agency’s network from government servers.

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