#CyberFLASH: Chinese spies and hackers, U.S. security and the Canadian Space Agency

a-woman-uses-her-computer-keyboard-to-type-while-surfing-the-internet-in-north-vClapper, the director of National Intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services committee Tuesday that he doesn’t think an agreement between the U.S. and China would stop such cyber attacks. The two nations reached a deal last week – both agreed not to conduct or support such cyber attacks on businesses.

The U.S. government had warned that it would consider economic sanctions if China’s economic spying didn’t stop.

The U.S. isn’t the only nation (obviously) that has faced such Chinese-directed operations. The computer systems of Canada’s National Research Council have been hacked a number of times, although the Chinese deny they are involved. Last year after one of the attacks, CTV confirmed through security sources that the culprit was “a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor.”

And several months ago there was a news report that didn’t get a lot of pickup but was nonetheless very interesting. Chinese investors had planned to build a $30 million factory to produce fire alarms in Quebec.

The proposed site, however, was to be located just down the way from the headquarters of the Canadian Space Agency.

La Presse newspaper reported that Industry Canada put a halt to the project because of the property’s proximity to the space agency (about 1.7 kilometres away). The newspaper reported that Industry Canada had national security concerns but no further details were provided.

After the initial article there wasn’t a lot of further reporting on the situation. Industry Canada went silent. “The confidentiality provisions of the Investment Canada Act do not permit Industry Canada to comment on this matter,” Industry Canada spokeswoman Stéfanie Power told Defence Watch.

The Chinese company acknowledged receiving my request for comment but didn’t respond.

So what were the potential concerns about security? Aerospace industry sources tell Defence Watch that conceivably electronic data/transmissions from CSA headquarters could be monitored from a nearby location.

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Canadian Space Agency says internal network safe following hacker attack

MONTREAL—The Canadian Space Agency insists there was no intrusion into its internal network last week despite a hacker’s claims that its website was vulnerable.

The agency says last week’s hacking drew attention to vulnerabilities on its public website but it never penetrated the internal servers that hold more sensitive data.

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