#CyberFLASH: Federal departments cite cyber-attacks among biggest risks


OTTAWA — Three years after hackers were found snooping around Treasury Board systems, a successful cyber-attack remains the biggest risk facing the department, according to a new report to Parliament.

And Treasury Board is not alone. IT security risks are mentioned in planning and priority reports for multiple departments as the federal government closes old data centres and modernizes an aging IT system that may not meet current security requirements.

Meanwhile, heavily censored incident reports give a glimpse of the environment departments are facing in the coming year. The reports, released under the access to information law to the Ottawa Citizen, show four instances between March 1 and July 31, 2013 in which hackers overwhelmed government servers with what’s called a “denial of service” attack.

In one case, an undisclosed government website was taken down. In another, a website was “intermittently inaccessible,” but no data were compromised. And in a July attack, public servants were cut off from their cloud computer.

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